Mannar - The grisly murder of a Mannar construction worker by six Gallente teens is being linked to the music of Midna Lyre, the noted pop singer who has been the focus of much controversy in recent weeks.
Three days ago, Hata Rath's body was found in a garbage disposal unit in the city of Raspa. The body was discovered when maintenance workers went to investigate a malfunction of the disposal's servo units. The unit, a public one designed for disposing of food, was not rated for destroying bone and malfunctioned as it attempted to destroy the body.
Investigators quickly discovered security tapes showing the body being disposed of by Matias Freier, a 19-year old Gallente student at Raspa District College. Subsequent investigations implicated five others - between the ages of 14 and 17, all Gallente - in the murder.
An autopsy showed that Rath died from massive blood loss after his jugular veins were severed. He had been restrained to reduce his struggling and then drained of blood. Investigators were initially stumped as to the motive behind the ritual killing, as all six suspects initially refused to speak.
A breakthrough finally came after one of the investigators discovered one of the killer's journals, professing admiration for Midna and her recent decision to come out about her religious beliefs. "We put two and two together," said Chief Inspector Zenigata, the lead investigator on the case. "Once we confronted the suspect with this information, she admitted that they were mimicking the acts they had heard about in Midna's music. They believed that by taking and drinking the victim's blood, they would gain some sort of magical strength."
The police have refused to release the names of the other five killers, as they are all under the age of majority in the Federation. They are classifying Freier as the ringleader of the cult and have charged him with first degree pre-meditated murder. They have yet to decide what crimes they will charge the other five with, nor if they will charge them as adults or not.
Freier is described as a loner, who had been living with several others in an apartment several kilometers outside of Raspa city borders. The police are not charging his fellow residents in the crime, saying they had no connection with Freier outside of their rental situation. Freier was a former ward of the Mannar government, having been orphaned at a young age, then returned to foster care after his adoptive parents proved unfit.
Midna released a brief statement condemning the act. "This horrible act is truly a tragedy, perpetrated by a group of disturbed individuals who in no way represent the ideals I hold dear. It is unfortunate that some people can twist even the most peaceful message into a hateful one."
Midna's scheduled concert went on without incident, though some of the now-ubiquitous protesters carried signs referencing the murder.