Sven Urban Höglin

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Sven Urban Höglin

Birthplace: Storfors, Värmland, Sweden
Death: April 08, 1989 (23)
Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand (murdered)
Place of Burial: Sweden
Immediate Family:

Fiancé of Heidi Birgitta Paakkonen
Brother of Hans Johnny Höglin and Private

Managed by: Private User
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About Sven Urban Höglin

Urban Hoglin, a 23 year old from the same Swedish village both had grown up in – Storfors, 225km west of capital city Stockholm. Hoglin shared the same rugged good looks and athletic frame as his well-known older brother Johnny, a gold medallist at the 1968 Winter Olympics in France in the 10,000 metre speedskating final. There was a big age difference between the brothers. Johnny was born in 1943, the first of four children – Urban, born 2 December, 1965, was the youngest. At 183 cm tall (6 ft) and around 75 kg, Urban had the trademark Scandinavian blue eyes and medium brown hair. He’d attended the same high school as Heidi, but with a two year age gap their paths didn’t really cross till they worked together in the Storfors village supermarket, Domus, after Urban had completed his ten month military training at the age of 19. Striking up a relationship, the couple became engaged on the Spanish island of Mallorca in September 1986, a month shy of Heidi’s 19th birthday, and began living together back in Sweden that December. Their engagement rings were special, each wore a gold band engraved with the other’s name on the inside. On top of his army experience, Urban Hoglin was an outdoorsman by nature, accompanying one of his older brothers – Stefan – on frequent wilderness trips in Sweden. Source:

On 8 April 1989, backpacking tourists Höglin and Paakkonen from Storfors, Sweden went into the bush near Thames. They vanished and were reported missing in May. The disappearance led to an intense police investigation under the name Operation Stockholm, and attracted substantial media interest. Police, local residents, search and rescue and military personnel carried out the largest land-based search undertaken in New Zealand, performing grid-searches centred on Crosbie’s Clearing, 12 km from Thames.

Tamihere, a fugitive for skipping bail for a 1986 rape, admitted stealing the Subaru car belonging to the couple. There was only one known key to the car that was found in the possession of David Tamihere, and he claims to have broken into the car with a bit of #8 wire and found the key in the glovebox. He was arrested, and tried for their murder starting in October 1990. At the trial three witnesses (fellow inmates of Tamihere’s, granted name suppression by the court) gave evidence that Tamihere had confessed the murder to them. Two trampers also identified Tamihere as a man they saw with a woman believed to be Paakkonen in a remote clearing. The court also heard Tamihere tied Höglin to a tree and sexually abused him before raping Paakkonen.

In October 1991, ten months after the conviction, pig hunters discovered the body of Höglin near Whangamata; Paakkonen’s body has never been found. Höglin’s body was recovered 73 km from where police alleged the murders took place. With the body was a watch which police claimed at his trial Tamihere had given to his son following the murders. Discovery of the body also contradicted the testimony of a (secret) prosecution witness who said Tamihere had confessed to cutting up the bodies and throwing them into the ocean.

Hoglin's remains were returned to Sweden for burial.

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Sven Urban Höglin's Timeline

December 2, 1965
Storfors, Värmland, Sweden
April 8, 1989
Age 23
Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand
October 1991
Age 23