By Graham Smith
Last updated at 1:25 PM on 15th December 2011
A ten-year-old boy has confessed to killing a four-year-old boy in a Swedish village earlier this year, police said last night.
In a case that has shocked the nation, the boy strangled his young victim – only identified as Texas – with a skipping rope outside the apartment building where he lived in the southern village of Ljungby.
He declined to comment on the motive for the October 16 killing, according to police.
Detective Robert Loeffel, of Kronoberg police, said: ‘The boy has told us what he did and how he did it and there is a confession in that.’
Local media reports say the four-year-old was killed after running off from a playground where he had been involved in a dispute with other children.
He was found dead in a shrub near a residential area a few hours later.
Yvonne Rudinsson, the detective in charge of the investigation, said: ‘The difficulty with this investigation has been that the evidence was found with children, and that was a very difficult situation to handle.
‘As far as I am concerned, the crime is solved.’
More than 35 police officers have been involved in the investigation and at least 65 children, aged between five and 15, have been questioned.
Children under the age of 15 cannot be punished under Swedish law and the matter will now be handled by social services.
Child psychologist Margit Ekenberg told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper: ‘Children can be cruel to each other, but not evil.
‘Children who commit acts like this have probably not received the care and assistance they needed from adults in setting limits to their actions.’
The case has echoes of the 1993 murder of toddler James Bulger in Merseyside. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were both ten when they snatched the two-year-old from a Merseyside shopping centre and murdered him.