A 27-year-old Murray woman was strangled Wednesday in a Swedish hotel while visiting a man she met on the phone, Swedish police said.
Hotel staff found Elaine John dead when they went to check the room, after the couple failed to check out, said Lars Hakansson, information director for the Police Department of Skane in Malmo.Jan Lundahl, 32, will be arraigned in Swedish court Saturday for investigation of the slaying in a Malmo, Sweden, hotel.
Lundahl turned himself into police at noon Thursday, said Lars Hakansson, information director for the Police Department of Skane in Malmo. Lundahl has "basically admitted his involvement" in the woman's death and is being held in a Malmo jail on suspicion of murder, Hakasson said.
Contacted by the Deseret News Friday morning, a spokeswoman for the John family, who said she was Elaine John's aunt, declined comment.
John had been in Sweden since Feb. 9. She apparently had gone there to live with Lundahl, whom she met over the telephone in May 1997, Hakansson said.
Olaf Westerberg, a reporter for the Malmo newspaper, the Southern Swedish Daily, said he contacted Lundahl's mother on Thursday.
"She said she hadn't spoken to him in about three years," Wes-ter-berg said.
The couple had checked into the hotel, Master Johan, in downtown Malmo the previous Saturday, Hakansson said. They were scheduled to check out of the hotel on Tuesday, but contacted the front desk and asked to stay another night, Hakansson said. When the couple didn't check out, staff went to the room.
John, a former telephone operator, apparently struck up a conversation with Lundahl last May when he called directory assistance to try to locate a phone number for a friend.
Since John arrived in Sweden last month, the two had stayed in a number of different Malmo hotels and with some of Lundahl's friends, Hakansson said. Lundahl apparently had no job and no permanent address. This was John's only known visit to Sweden, Hakansson said.
Lundahl has a criminal history that includes a 1997 conviction for residential burglaries but had not served any time in jail, Hakansson said. According to police records, Lundahl is also a suspect in a fraud case in which he charged more than $740 in telephone calls to a Malmo hotel, checking out without paying for them.
Formal charges have not yet been filed against Lundahl, but Hakanssson said that if he were to be charged with murder, the penalty would be life in prison.