Housemate's arrest for fatal stabbing leaves student home residents shaken

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

The arrest of a 26-year-old man for the fatal stabbing of Hidde Bergman in Groningen last month, left the suspect's housemates shaken. According to the housemates, the suspect is a foreign man who has been renting a room in the student home for a month or two. They describe him as a strange man that made them feel uncomfortable, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.

"It is very scary to live with a man who is suspected of something so violent", one of his housemates said to the newspaper. The man speaks English and poor Dutch. He was often short on cash and would regularly ask for loose cigarettes, they said. 

Another housemate told Dagblad van het Noorden that he did not feel completely comfortable around the man. "He always had a strange expression on his face. He was often staring off into infinity and it was as if he was walking around on autopilot." A few weeks ago the housemate and his girlfriend happened to spot the suspect in the city. They decided to walk a different route home. "We did not want to go into the house at the same time as him."

The suspect's three housemates did not recognize him from the composite sketch the police released. "He doesn't have curly hair like that. He also has a strange mustache that is not on the drawing", one said to the newspaper. Another does see some resemblance in the eyes and sunken face, now that he knows who the suspect is. 

Hidde Bergman, 27 from Groningen, was stabbed to death while jogging on Jaagpad on May 14th. The suspect was arrested on Monday. He was already in police custody on suspicion of vandalism. So far the police said nothing about a possible motive for his murder. It is not clear whether he knew the suspect.