A man accused of stabbing a love rival to death looks set to walk free after bin men apparently disposed of the corpse by incinerating it.
The 28-year-old Hungarian suspect confessed that he killed a fellow countryman aged 43 in a council flat in the Austrian capital Vienna.
The flat belongs to a woman the two men were both in love with, creating tension which ended in a deadly confrontation, according to reports.
After the man allegedly killed the victim in the flat, he placed the body in a rubbish bin in the courtyard.
Neighbour Jasmina Andreic said she alerted the cops after noticing that the entire stairwell was full of blood with a trail leading from the lift to the bins.
At that time, she thought that it was just part of a normal argument in the woman’s flat, something Andreic said she witnessed many times before.
Cops later found the screwdriver in the flat as well as a large amount of blood, however the victim’s body remains missing.
Andreic claimed that the woman, who owns the flat where the alleged murder took place, has addiction problems and often sleeps on the stairwell.
Andreic said: “Recently, her whole body was bruised because she had been beaten up.
“In the past, she was a truly lovely woman, but something went wrong in her life.”
The cops first suspected that something serious happened at the apartment when they overheard a conversation involving homeless people the suspect and victim both knew.
The police immediately informed the city’s waste collectors and told them to halt activity at the local incineration plant.
Vienna Energy spokeswoman Lisa Grohs said: “The plant was stopped but nothing could be found. We receive about 200 full dustcarts every day. That’s about 700 tonnes of rubbish. They are not examined before incineration.”
Grohs explained that the waste is moved into the incinerator by a crane, a process which is partially done manually by a crane operator as well as automatically.
She explained that while large rubbish items such as broken washing machines can be detected, a human body is small enough to remain unnoticed, which likely means that the victim’s body has since been burned.
According to reports, proof that a murder took place is now mostly based on the suspect’s testimony, which he gave when in police custody for another offence.
It is presently difficult for prosecutors to continue without a dead body and it is unclear whether they plan to charge the suspect with murder, according to local media.
The investigation is ongoing.