A Swedish police investigation into the death of a 28-year-old woman who fell off a third floor balcony is trying to determine if it was an accident or an honor killing.
The dead woman had only recently moved to Sweden from Morocco to join her husband, who was briefly arrested in the investigation. According to a report posted by the Islam in Europe blog, a Stockholm University researcher is studying a similar case involving a 16-year-old girl. Devin Rexvid's study involves a death in which police also suspected honor killing, but were unable to generate enough evidence to prosecute:
"Rexvid says that the evidence is the most difficult. There are insufficient procedures to investigate this type of crime. He thinks the police should use experts more often. There are some people within the police who have the expertise and experience from similar cases and they should be called into the investigation at the preliminary stages.
Rexvid also calls for better cooperation between the police, schools and the social services, saying the latter two should be more engaged when it comes to young girls who have fallen from balconies."
A second researcher is cited claiming balconies have been used in Middle Eastern honor killings and the practice may be "much more common than we believe." Law enforcement officials are said to be receiving training on ways to recognize the signs of honor-related crimes.
Some high profile murders in the United States have generated attention on honor killings. For more, see this, this and this.