MAINZ, Germany — A slain teen whose captors demanded a $1.3-million ransom was likely stalked on Facebook and had her movements tracked before being abducted, according to investigators.
A 17-year-old identified by police only as Anneli-Marie R. was kidnapped while walking her dog near Meissen in eastern Germany on Thursday. Two males, aged 39 and 61, were arrested Monday morning and the girl's body was found at a farm hours later.
“Based on the investigation so far, the younger suspect was supposedly taking walks with a dog in the area to find out at what times the girl was out and about,” Dresden prosecutors' office spokesman Lorenz Haase told NBC News on Wednesday.
Investigators said the 39-year-old suspect had previously lived near the victim and allege that he scouted out the location where she was kidnapped. Police believe the victim's background was also researched using Facebook.
Anneli-Marie's father, a well-known local businessman, received a 1.2-million euro ($1.3 million) ransom demand shortly after she disappeared.
Some 1,200 police officers had been involved in the case, which made headlines across Germany after local media reported the sum demanded for the girl's return.
Anneli-Marie's relatives made a public appeal to the kidnappers on Sunday night.
"The kidnappers should know that we will fulfill the indicated demands to be able to hug our child soon. Please come forward," the family said in a statement.
However, it was likely already too late.
While the final autopsy results have yet to be released, police said that Anneli-Marie was probably killed on Friday — the same day the last call between a kidnapper and the girl’s father occurred.
The family had been willing to pay the ransom but that the request to wire it to a foreign bank account was technically impossible within the time frame, police said.