Child murder suspect dies in hospital

23-03-2011

The only suspect in the case of Anna Janatková, a nine-year-old girl who disappeared five months ago and was found murdered last week, has died in hospital after a suicide attempt in his prison cell, apparently bringing an end to a case that has shocked the public. The suspect, 41-year-old Otakar Tomek, maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.

Illustrative photoIllustrative photo The suspect, who was arrested on last week, attempted to hang himself on Monday using a pair of sweatpants tied to a toilet cistern, despite being under increased supervision and despite the fact he was sharing a cell with another prisoner. He was apparently found at around 3 a.m. and it seemed he had been saved, but on Tuesday he was reported to be in critical condition with brain swelling and shortly before 9.00 on Wednesday he died in a military hospital. Police have ruled out anything other than suicide, saying that the suspect’s cellmate had nothing to do with the death. He also left a suicide note which has not been made public but reportedly does not include any kind of confession.

Otakar Tomek has always been the sole subject in the case of Anna Janatková, and while he can of course no longer be prosecuted, the investigation into the murder will continue. Investigators have requested expert analyses of the evidence in the case – DNA evidence was likely found during the autopsy and fingerprints were reportedly found near the grave. Those reports will either point solely to Otakar Tomek or to someone else’s involvement. In the former situation, the case will be closed; in the latter, the analyses could show that he was wrongly accused.

It’s important to note that no direct evidence has been found – or at least publicised by the police – in this case, and a court freed this suspect from police custody once already because of lack of evidence. It remains possible that someone else could be charged further down the road.

Anna JanatkováAnna Janatková Meanwhile, the prison service is adamant that they could not have done more; cameras are not allowed in prison cells due to privacy laws and the police say that the suspect was under increased surveillance in his holding cell. But apparently they were warned by experts and the suspect’s own psychologist that he would be likely to commit suicide if pushed into a corner. With the public having been following this case very closely for five months, the police are facing no small amount of scrutiny into their handling of it now, as it begins to appear that the full truth may never come to light.

23-03-2011