Sarah Papenheim was a 21-year-old college student studying abroad in the Netherlands, as she attended Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She was studying psychology, an interest brought on by personal tragedy. Three years ago, Papenheim’s older brother committed suicide, causing her to take interest in the source of suicidal behavior and depression. Papenheim was living in an apartment, just a short distance away from her university where she’d been studying for several years, according to People.
The college student had been living with a 23-year-old roommate who has not yet been named. He is now the primary suspect in her murder. Although Papenheim was originally friendly with her roommate, he allegedly had his own set of mental issues. Her mother, Donee Odegard, now says that he had been becoming angry and violent toward her daughter in recent weeks.
“[The] last couple of weeks [he] was getting more and more angry. I told her she needed to get out of there, that he seemed dangerous,” Odegard recalled. “But she told me, ‘No mom. I’m his only friend and he won’t hurt me.'”
Papenheim had been living with a boyfriend at the time of her murder, and was trying to put some distance between herself and her roommate. Police believe her roommate attacked her when she made a trip home to collect some of her clothes and other belongings. Her body was found in the apartment on Wednesday. Police say that she was brutally beaten and sustained multiple stab wounds. The suspect fled to a nearby train station where he was later picked up by police and taken into custody.
College Student, 21, Allegedly Killed by Roommate While Studying Abroad in Netherlands: Reports https://t.co/vqHY9jy6KD— People (@people) December 14, 2018
Her mother is now devastated, saying that her daughter had planned a trip home for next week.
“We talked about her staying here permanently and finishing school here. It was a week too late,” Odegard said.
Papenheim spent her early life in Minnesota where she developed a passion for blues music and playing the drums. She enjoyed jam sessions with friends and frequently performed throughout the Minneapolis area.
“I liked her because she hit the drums just as hard as guys did,” said Jellybean Johnson, a friend of the college student. “So I nicknamed her ‘Thumper.'”
George Moye was another musician who often performed alongside Papenheim.
“The thing that is going through my head is that she was coming home for Christmas. And we were all so excited to see her and to hear that she was coming back that way, and that was just tragic,” he said.