Colorado Nanny Lauren Mann Smothered During Sex, Alleged Killer Found Guilty

In recent months, we've been keeping you up to date about the January murder of Lauren Mann, a former CU student who was killed in Vienna, Austria, where she'd been working as a nanny.

Now, a Gambian national identified as Abdou I. — Austrian law precludes his full name from being made public — has been found guilty of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

However, the verdict has already been appealed on behalf of Abdou I., who is said to have met Mann via a couch-surfing website and subsequently became involved with her sexually.

The reported motive for the crime? He was allegedly jealous when he found her lying next to a fifteen-year-old from Afghanistan.

As we've noted, Mann's Facebook page, which remains online at this writing, cites her home town of Paonia and mentions German studies at the Campus der Universität in Vienna. Prior to that, she concentrated on music at the University of Colorado Boulder; she was a gifted pianist.

Her Facebook gallery sports a number of striking portraits, including this one....

...and this one....

...and this one:

During the three years or so she'd spent in Vienna, she supported herself by serving as a nanny for the family of Verena Jaschke-Kuen.

Then, on January 25, Jaschke-Kuen sent this Facebook message:
Lauren didn't show up for work today without any notice and her phone is flat. This has never happened before and therefore we are a bit worried. Did anyone hear from her or see her today? ...and Lauren, please give us a call when you see this. Thank you!
When Mann failed to respond, the authorities were contacted the next day — and what they found was startling.

According to The Local, an English language news source in Austria, firemen had to break open the door to gain access to her apartment on Tuesday, January 26.

Inside, Mann was reportedly lying face-down on a mattress on the floor.

She is described as being "half-naked."

After Mann's death was ruled a homicide, investigators turned their attention to a Gambian refugee identified in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung as Abdou I.

The paper reported that he fled to Italy in 2012 before applying for asylum in Germany — but after he was implicated in crimes such as theft and robbery, he headed to Austria, where he was said to have lived in a boat.

Subsequent news items suggested that Abdou I. came into contact with Mann on

Here's a look at her profile on the site:

The site's home page devotes an entire section to "Trust & Safety," and Kurier noted that Mann's previous experiences with the service had been positive.

The translated article maintained that Mann had "closed in this way many friendships."

The Daily Mail added that Mann had received three positive reviews in regard to previous visits from others.

Following the conviction of Abdou I., seen in the following video....

...Jollofnews confirmed the couch-surfing connection and revealed that Mann offered him a place to stay to prevent him from being deported.

After that, the two reportedly developed a sexual relationship. But the day before she was found dead, prosecutors say that Abdou I. found Mann lying next to the Afghan teen in her flat during a party — and DNA evidence showed that she'd had sex with both men.

Abdou I. allegedly killed her the next day.

A quote from the Jollofnews piece: "Forensic experts say she was forcibly suffocated while having sex, by a pillow that was pressed into her face."

Afterward, the prosecution argued, Abdou I. tried to burn some of Mann's clothes before splitting with several of her items, including her cell phone.

Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Lauren Mann.

Look below to see an original NBC report broadcast in January, shortly after Mann's death made international news.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts