Cops on Tycoon's Missing Wife: 'Clearly Planned Deception'

Norway's Tom Hagen arrested on suspicion of murdering spouse, who vanished in 2018
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2020 11:04 AM CDT
Cops Have New Theory on Tycoon Who Said Wife Was Abducted
This 2011 file photo shows Tom Hagen in Lillehammer, Norway.   (Torbjorn Olsen/NTB scanpix via AP, file)

One of Norway’s wealthiest men was arrested Tuesday in connection with his wife's 2018 disappearance and held on suspicion of murder or complicity to murder in a case that police had earlier thought was a kidnapping. Tom Hagen, a real estate investor and owner of an electric company, was arrested on his way to work, chief police investigator Tommy Broeske said. The case had made headlines in the Scandinavian country, where police first reported that Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen had been abducted, per the AP. Police had been told of her disappearance on Oct. 31, 2018, but they didn’t publicly speak about it until Jan. 9, 2019, after which hundreds of tips poured in. "The case is characterized by a clearly planned deception,” said Broeske. "As other hypotheses have been weakened, suspicions against Tom Hagen have gradually been strengthened."

A prosecutor said that authorities would seek to hold Hagen for four weeks in pretrial custody and that more arrests were possible. Police declined to elaborate on a motive. The 69-year-old childhood sweetheart that Hagen married at age 19 disappeared from the couple's home in Loerenskog, authorities said. A ransom for her release was demanded, police said in January 2019, but they declined to give the amount. In June 2019, police changed their main hypothesis because of the absence of any signs that the missing woman was still alive. They believe Falkevik Hagen, who has never been found, had been killed and said they "cannot exclude a staged kidnapping to hide it." Tom Hagen, from a farming family of 12 children, struck it rich in the real estate business he started in 1978. His fortune is estimated to be about $161 million.

(Read more Norway stories.)

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