A man accused of murdering an American student in the Netherlands this week allegedly expressed a desire to kill others just days earlier, ABC News reports.
Minnesota native Sarah Papenheim was fatally stabbed on Wednesday inside the Rotterdam apartment she shared with the suspect, 23-year-old Joel Schelling. Police were called to the apartment after “neighbors heard fighting and screaming” and found Papenheim “unconscious, in a pool of blood,” according to CBS Minnesota.
Police arrested Schelling several hours after the killing at a train station 65 miles away.
Papenheim, 21, had moved to the foreign country to study at Erasmus University. One of her friends, Adam Pryor, told ABC News he received a text message from her on Dec. 6 in which she raised concerns about Schelling.
“My roommate told me he’s gonna kill 3 people,” Papenheim wrote. “So I’m gonna have to go the police.”
It was not clear whether Papenheim went to authorities.
“I could tell she wasn’t doing right because she was just being weird over text and then I asked her what’s wrong and she said she never talks to anyone anymore,” Pryor told ABC. “[She said], ‘I work full time and I have school full time and everything is just so f—-d up right now. My roommate told me is going to kill three people so I’m gonna to have to go to the police.'”
Still, Pryor said Papenheim did not ever indicate that she could be in danger or that Schelling wanted to harm her.
Pryor got to know Papenheim while playing live music in Minneapolis: she excelled at percussion and he played the organ. They would regularly play jazz and blues at clubs and remained friends when she moved to the Netherlands two years ago.
Schelling was reportedly also a musician – a cello player – and he could easily get mad. Papenheim told her mother, Donee Odegard, she was the only person who could calm him.
Odegard advised her daughter “not to be around” Schelling, but Papenheim believed she could help him.
“Mom, he is my friend,” Odegard recalls Papenheim saying. “I am his only friend. He would get angry, but I can always talk him down and change his mind.”
Pryor said Papenheim was “the best friend anyone could ask for” and that she was a rare talent.
“I saw her playing drums and I just came to jam with her and play organ and I just never heard someone that young, my age, be able to play that hard and play that well and just lay down a groove,” Pryor said. “It was just incredible. We talked just all the time over there, through text and whatnot, in and out of school for both of us. It’s just, she’s one of a kind.”
They last talked on Monday. Pryor said Papenheim was excited about plans to attend several concerts in Europe.
A judge on Friday ordered Schelling to remain in police custody for at least two more weeks as authorities continue to investigate.
[Feature Photo: Sarah Papenheim/Facebook]