The ten year old girl Engla was riding her bicycle home after playing with friends. But she never came back from the five kilometer ride. By a coincidence was she photographed less than a kilometer from home by a man, out walking, testing his new camera. Minutes later the same man photographed a red car driving on the same road. The man in that car was Anders Eklund, a 42 year old truck driver.
Englas mother was very worried. Her daughter should be home by now, she thought and couldn’t help calling the police. Not to get in touch, not to mind appointments was so unlike her daughter. Before the police had organized a search was she already out looking for Engla by herself.
Family, relatives and soon the whole local community of Stjärnsund, was out searching, they would do so even long after the police had gave up the search. At the same time Anders Eklund was out driving his truck, driving away from the picturesque province of Dalarna towards the south of Sweden. He is caught on surveillance camera at a petrol station, he’s in a good mood and laughs when he jokes with the staff.
Those who know Anders Eklund gives dissimilar pictures of him: “He’s social and friendly”, one acquaintance say about him, “a joyful guy”. “A miserable person, an outsider” someone else say. “A sex felon”. “Timid but nice”. Many people witness about his interest in trucks and truck driving. He loves to talk about them and his job. Most of his few friends seem to be other truck drivers he meets during working hours. Since he was a small child has he dreamed of driving trucks.
His other main interest is women, although he has had difficulties to interact with them.
- When everyone else was out meeting girls, he was always away trucking with his father, says a former classmate , to Aftonbladet.
But many describe it as if he’s later became possessed by women, a possession that he has externalized brutally.
In 1994 he beat up a 21 year old woman, tried to strangle and rape her in a park in the city of Gävle. Two weeks later he tries to knock out a 28 year old woman in his home village Torsåker and when he’s dragging her into a toilet she manages to get away. 1995 he tries to strangle a heavily drunk 16 year old girl. In 1998 he tries to force a 16 year old girl to have sex with him. The same year is he also sentenced for flashing. In 2000 is he again sentenced for flashing, this time at a public bath in the city of Sandviken. The same year is he perpetrated for boot-legging to two young girls.
The police early get an interest in the 42 year old truck driver. The photograph that places him in almost direct contact with 10 years old Engla, at the time of her disappearance, is an unusually strong indication. Neither does his criminal record make him look less suspicious. He got arrested one week ago and then the puzzle quickly is laid by the investigators. Confronted with DNA evidence that ties him to a cold case murder from 2000 of a 31 year old woman in the city of Falun, Anders Eklund breaks down and admits both that murder and the murder of the missing 10 year old. He yesterday showed the police to the girl’s body, found in his home province Gästrikland.
A friend to the Eklund family says that, by his judgment, Anders seemed to have had a normal upbringing and childhood. But then there’s that thing with alcohol.
- He gets weird when he drinks. Normally is he rather nice, but something happens when he drinks.
Today Anders Eklund admitted one more rape attempt. Child pornography has been found in his home and he is also said to have been in contact with children over the internet. Some think that there could be more dark secrets waiting to be told by this truck driver.
A sad detail is that the police twice, first in 2006 and then in 2007, was tipped to take a closer look at Anders Eklund in relation to the cold case murder in Falun. That blunder may have cost Engla her life. The police now face intense criticism and will be investigated by the attorney general.