Foothill High grad murdered in the Netherlands
A Foothill High School graduate and well known musician was stabbed to death Wednesday in the Netherlands where she was attending college at Erasmus University.
21-year-old Sarah Papenheim's body was discovered by Rotterdam police who were called to the building where she lived. Her mother, Donee Odegard, says she was beaten and stabbed to death by her roommate.
Odegard says police caught the man on a train an hour north of the city and that he is in custody. She did not know the roommate's name. Rotterdam police have confirmed a suspect is in custody in the case.
Odegard, who now lives in Minnesota, said by phone Thursday that she last spoke with her daughter this past weekend. She says her daughter said her roommate had been acting strange. Odegard says she was alarmed, "I told her she needed to get out of there, that he seemed dangerous. But she told me, 'No mom. I'm his only friend and he won't hurt me".
Odegard did convince Papenheim to start staying in her boyfriend's flat down the hall.
Odegard said Sarah's boyfriend told her Sarah texted him Wednesday to tell him she was going back to her flat to get clothes while her roommate was in class. But when she got there, the roommate attacked her. Odegard does not know why it happened, and says she has very little information from Rotterdam authorities.
Now she says she is trying to come up with the thousands of dollars it will cost to bring her daughter's body home.
"We have to pay for his crime and that doesn't seem right," she said, "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."
Friends of Papenheim called her "very popular" saying she was very well known in the Redding community. She was an accomplished blues drummer who performed at venues all around Shasta County and was part of the Jefferson Blues Society.
"Sarah was one of the friendliest people I've ever met. She was the type of person that would remember every person she ever met, and really cared about everyone around her," said Austin Witherspoon. "If you were struggling with anything in your life, she was the first person who would go out of their way to talk to you about it, and let you know that you weren't alone. There's a reason she was friends with what seems like every person in Redding. It was hard not to be her friend when without even knowing anything about you, she still cared."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay to bring Sarah home. If you would like to donate, click here.