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“A movie”: How Paraguay police describe plot to kill German father and daughter over violins

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL –  Last October 22, violinmaker and anthropologist Bernard Raymond Bredow (62) and his daughter Lorena von Bredow (14), were found murdered in their rural home in Areguá on the outskirts of Paraguay’s capital Asunción.

The motive for the robbery was allegedly 4 luxury Stradivarius violins that could be worth millions on the market.

Bernard Raymond Bredow and his daughter Lorena von Bredow were allegedly murdered by 3 other German nationals in order to steal luxury stradivarius violins. (Photo internet reproduction)

Paraguayan police reached this conclusion after finding that the victims, shot dead, had signs of torture and the house was in disarray. The killers were allegedly insistent on obtaining certificates of authenticity for Von Bredow’s violins.

Von Bredow moved to the South American nation 2 years ago and settled in the city of Arégua, a popular rural area for German expats. Neighbors knew him as a connoisseur of antique violins.

Paraguayan police on Wednesday, November 10, announced the arrest of 3 men, German neighbors Volker Grannass, 58, Yves Asriel Spartacus Steinmetz, 60, and Stephen Jorg Messing Darchinger, 51, as suspects” in the murder,” Investigations chief Commissioner Hugo Grance said.

Authorities said the men were Von Bredow’s “close friends,” and that the victim left the Stradivarius violins with Volker Grannas while he took a brief trip to Germany. “Allegedly, upon his return, Bredow was informed that the instruments had been destroyed during a fire.”

One of the lead investigators of the murders Lorena Ledesma, told local media that suspecting the perpetrators knew the victims was key to the case. She said much evidence was found in the suspects’ homes.

Ledesma said they found several guns in Grannas’ house and discovered an additional gun they believed to have been involved in the murders, as well as maps showing where certificates of authenticity were located in the victims’ home.

“It’s like something out of a movie,” Ledesma said. On Wednesday, ABC Paraguay recalled how in October, after the bodies were discovered, one of those arrested, Volker Grannas, coldly appeared in front of the press declaring that he had been in the city of Chaco and had even spoken to Bernard Bredow’s sister.

Police believe it “likely” that there are more people involved in the crime.
Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari’s musical instruments date back some 250 years and could be worth millions of dollars on the market, but only with certificates proving their authenticity.

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