Paraguayan police announced today that they have arrested two Germans and one Chilean, suspected of killing a German archaeologist and his daughter, with the aim of obtaining documents that confirm the authenticity of valuable violins.
Archaeological Museum owner Bernard Raymond von Bradow was killed last month with his 14-year-old daughter Lydia at their home in Aregua, east of Asuncion, and police said there were traces of torture on his body.
Police said that four violins, which are believed to have been made by the famous Italian Antonio Stradivari, were found with 58-year-old German Volker Granas, who lived near the residence of Von Bradov.
Along with Granas, 60-year-old German Yves Azriel Spartacus Steinmic and 51-year-old Chilean Steven Jorg Messing Darchinger were also arrested, but none of them has been charged yet.
Police allege that Von Bradov apparently left the violins near Granas on his way to Germany and that he was told on his return that they had burned in the fire.
The basic hypothesis of the police is that the motive for the double murder was the desire of the perpetrators to obtain an international certificate of authenticity of violins so that they could sell them.
The violins made by Stradivari in the 17th and 18th centuries are worth millions of dollars.
As a teenager, von Bradow discovered a complete skeleton of a mammoth near his hometown of Siegsdorf in Bavaria. He later founded a museum dedicated to mammoths, and also dealt with biology, geology and other fields.
His neighbors in Aregua state that he settled in the city two years ago and dedicated himself to making violins.