American Student Studying Abroad Allegedly Stabbed to Death by Her Roommate


On Wednesday, Sarah Papenheim, a 21-year-old American psychology student studying abroad in the Netherlands, was found stabbed to death in her apartment. Authorities have arrested her roommate as a suspect.

CNN reports that, according to a police statement, authorities went to Papenheim’s apartment after receiving reports of a “quarrel” there. When authorities arrived, they found Papenheim with stab wounds; she later died from her injuries. Her roommate, who’s 23 years old and remains unnamed, was later arrested as the suspect in the crime.

Papenheim, who was also an avid drummer, had been studying at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, as well as living there, since 2016.

University spokesperson Jacco Neleman told Buzzfeed News, “Our deepest condolences go out to all Sarah’s family and friends at this poignant time. The university is shocked by this terrible incident and is taking care of upset students and employees.”

Papenheim’s mother, Donee Odegard, told CNN affiliate KRCR that Papenheim had said her roommate was acting strange, and Odegard commented that he seemed dangerous. Papenheim reportedly told her mom, “I’m his only friend, and he won’t hurt me.” Even so, Odegard convinced her daughter to go stay at her boyfriend’s but when Papenheim went to her apartment to retrieve her clothes, she was allegedly attacked by her roommate.

Now, Odegard tells KRCR that she’s trying to find the money to bring her daughter’s body back to the states. She said, “We have to pay for his crime and that doesn’t seem right. I’m heartbroken. I think I’m in shock. She was planning to come home next week. We talked about her staying here permanently and finishing school here. It was a week too late.”


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