Colorado nanny found dead in Austria identified

Posted at 5:53 AM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 01:18:00-05

Austrian police say the body of a 25-year-old woman from Colorado has been found in her Vienna apartment and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

A State Department official identified her as Lauren Mann from the town of Paonia in Western Colorado.

Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger said Wednesday that Mann's body was found after she did not show up at the home where she worked as an au pair and her worried employer called police.  Her employer said she was "very reliable" and it raised alarms when she missed work.

Police and firefighters who forced open her door Tuesday evening found her half-naked body on a mattress on the floor in apartment that was sparsely furnished, Keiblinger said. Mann was discovered near a "considerable amount of blood," according to reports.

A forensics team initially had trouble examining the scene because all the light bulbs in her apartment had burnt out and had to be replaced with the help of a ladder, Keiblinger said.

According to The Local, a news website in Vienna, police said an autopsy found "no external injuries."

Keiblinger said that blood found near her head may indicate an internal injury. Investigators have ordered toxicological tests to see if she may have been poisoned, the news website reported.

Keiblinger said Mann had been studying and working in Vienna for about three years.

Mann's family issued a statement on Facebook Wednesday:

"We are heartbroken to tell you our daughter and sister Lauren Mann has been found dead in her apartment in Vienna, Austria. An investigation is in progress. It has been released in Austria to the media and is being sensationalized. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

A friend posted condolences on Facebook, "I'm so saddened by this. Lauren was a pianist friend of mine at CU. She was such a talent and kind woman. Thoughts and love to her family and friends."

Mann attended the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Music, where she studied piano and played in several recitals, according to the university website. She was also a member of Club français @ CU Boulder, where people learn French.

Her Facebook page says she studied German at Campus der Universität in Vienna. On her Facebook page, she posted her artistic photography, including images of European street scenes, a street market, sculptures, churches and curving interior stairwells.

"She always seemed like a happy little girl and had lots of friends," said family friend Lisa Heinritz.     

She had made many friends during her travels in Europe and they sent her Facebook posts in German and French.


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