MAINZ, Germany — A woman who responded to a singles ad in a newspaper was held captive for several weeks by a man and his ex-wife and died from a "blunt trauma" to her head, prosecutors in Germany said Friday.
The 41-year-old from the northern state of Lower Saxony was physically abused and eventually taken to hospital where she died, officials said.
"We have issued an arrest warrant against the couple on suspicion of manslaughter," prosecutor Ralf Meyer told NBC News.
In a statement, police and the prosecutor's office stated that the victim made contact though a newspaper ad with a 46-year-old man "who was looking for a steady partnership."
After a short time, the victim moved to the man's house in Hoexter, about 50 miles southwest of Hanover, where he lived with his 47-year old ex-wife.
"We believe that the woman was held for several weeks by the couple," the prosecutor said. During her ordeal, she was apparently physically abused, but there was "no evidence of a sexual crime," officials said in a statement.
The suspects tried to bring their "severely battered" victim back to the woman's apartment, but their vehicle broke down. "Because of the woman's bad state of health," the statement read, the suspects called an ambulance and the victim died about two hours later in a hospital. They were arrested April 21.
German mass-circulation Bild newspaper reported that the victim had been kept in a cellar, and described the scene as "The Horror House of Hoexter."
The newspaper quoted neighbors who said the victim had long hair when she first arrived but was later bald.