An American man living overseas with his wife is facing a charge of murder after allegedly telling authorities he stabbed her twice during an argument on vacation in France, says a prosecutor.
Authorities discovered the body of the victim, 52-year-old Laure Bardina-Kruger, hidden in a rainwater drain Friday near the couple’s second home in Peyriac-de-Mer, a village south of Narbonne, reports L’Express.
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Police detained the suspect, Billy Kruger, that same day at Toulouse airport as he prepared to board a flight to Jakarta, Indonesia, their year-round home where he worked as a dive instructor and the victim was a teacher, prosecutor Marie-Agnès Joly told The Associated Press.
“I have no words to qualify how we all feel right now,” the victim’s brother, Pierre Bardina, wrote in a Facebook post that confirmed police had told the family his sister allegedly “was murdered with stabbing by her husband, Billy.”
“We don’t know all the facts yet, but we’ve never had an alarm signal from Laure, about violent acts against her from her husband,” he wrote. He described his sister as “an exceptional person” whose death “leaves in our hearts the burning mark of eternal sorrow.”
He added: “Maximus, Laure’s son, is an orphan and no longer has a mother or father. We owe ourselves to be strong and resilient for him.”
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Authorities were alerted to something amiss by the victim’s father, who lives in the same region of southern France where the couple was staying, after they missed a planned visit to him before their scheduled return to Indonesia, according to Agence France-Presse.
When the victim’s parents were unable to reach the couple by phone ahead of their flight, police went to the couple’s home and found the wife’s belongings still there. The subsequently discovered the husband had checked in alone for the flight to Jakarta, and he was arrested in the boarding area, the prosecutor said, reports AP.
Billy Kruger and Laure Bardina-Kruger
While in police custody, Kruger allegedly admitted to having stabbed the victim twice, later telling a magistrate that he was seeking “to defend himself,” said the prosecutor, according to L’Express.
He is being held on a preliminary charge of aggravated murder, according to the prosecutor. It was not immediately clear whether Kruger had obtained an attorney or made a plea to the charge.
The victim’s LinkedIn profile said she taught French at the Jakarta Intercultural School, and had lived in Jakarta since 2015 after previously living in Shanghai, Cairo and Hawaii. Her “whole life has been a succession of adventures around the world,” her brother wrote.
According to the AP, the suspect originally was from Brooklyn.