The murder of Lisa Holm shook Sweden


It is Sunday, June 7, 2015.

17-year-old Lisa Holm has just left her shift at a cafe at the monastery in Blomberg on Kinnekulle north of Lidköping where she works extra. It is around 6.30pm and she is going home. A text message is sent to her father in which she writes that she has finished work and is going to take the moped home.

But Lisa Holm is not coming home.

After more than an hour has passed since the text message was sent, her father becomes worried when his daughter does not show up. He heads towards the cafe, hoping to meet or see her along the way. But she is nowhere to be seen and when he gets to the cafe he sees her moped. It remains outside the cafe with the keys still in the ignition.

Missing People’s biggest search

The father gets hold of the cafe owner and together they start searching for Lisa Holm in the local area. But the girl is nowhere to be seen.

Around 10 p.m., Lisa Holm is reported missing and the police are called to the cafe and start searching for her with a dog patrol. The hours pass but there is no sign of Lisa Holm.

Lisa Holm’s mobile phone which was found a few days after the disappearance. Image: The police

The day after her disappearance, the police make their first discovery – they find Lisa Holm’s moped glove in a barn right next to the cafe.

The following day, a mobile phone is found which later turns out to be hers and in the same vein the police go out with the name and picture of Lisa Holm in the hope of finding her.

But after three days she is still missing.

Missing People joins the search and soon the number of volunteers searching for the girl is a new record for the organization. After the 17-year-old had been missing for four days, several thousand people searched for her in the area.

To this day, it is said to have been one of Missing People’s largest searches for a missing person and over 1,100 people volunteered for the search. Image: Anders Hofgren

An earring is found in a barn. One that later turns out to belong to Lisa Holm.

Shortly afterwards, you find her moped driver’s license. And then her keys. In the same vein, the assessment is made that Lisa Holm has been abducted by someone with local knowledge.

And it is on the evening of the fifth day after she disappeared that a body is found in a wardrobe in a work shed a few kilometers away from the cafe where Lisa Holm worked.

The following day, June 13, the police confirm that it is Lisa Holm who has been found murdered.

Three people who were questioned about the disappearance earlier in the week are arrested and two of them are suspected of murder. Among other things, two craftsmen, who are also brothers, who worked in the area arouse the police’s suspicions.

Several suspects

The day after the police confirmed that Lisa Holm is dead, a memorial service is held for her. The church in Skövde is full. The pile of flowers, candles and greetings grows at the cafe where Lisa Holm worked.

The flowers and candles with greetings to the slain Lisa Holm outside the cafe in Blomberg grew with each passing hour. Picture: Jonas Lindstedt

The flowers and candles with greetings to the slain Lisa Holm outside the cafe in Blomberg grew with each passing hour. Picture: Jonas Lindstedt

Two brothers are detained in the Skaraborg district court on probable grounds suspected of murder. One of the brother’s wives, who had previously also been suspected in the case of aggravated protection of a criminal, is also reasonably suspected of aggravated protection of a criminal. She is released a week later and then leaves the country.

Two weeks later, the younger brother is set free, although the suspicions partly remain. The older brother is re-arrested on probable cause on suspicion of murder with reference to technical evidence.

One month after Lisa Holm’s disappearance, she is buried in Säter’s church outside Skövde.

Sentenced to life

The suspect’s name is Nerijus Bilevicius and he is from Lithuania.

In November 2015, Nerijus Bilevicius is sentenced after being in custody for five months, for the murder of Lisa Holm. He is sentenced by the Skaraborg district court to life imprisonment and deportation.

He has always denied the accusations. Despite the fact that the evidence against him consists of DNA traces in the form of his blood on Lisa Holm’s clothes and at the scene of the murder, he himself claims that he never even met her.

According to the prosecutor in the case, he overpowered Lisa Holm at the barn which was opposite the cafe. She was then brought back to life by being suspended from a water pipe in a nearby barn. The prosecutor also claims that the motive is sexual.

Nerijus Bilevicius appeals the verdict from the district court but is sentenced to life imprisonment also by the Göta Court of Appeal.

When he then appeals that verdict as well, the Supreme Court decides that they will not grant leave to appeal in the case and thus not take up the appeal. Thus, the Göta Court of Appeal’s life sentence becomes legally binding on May 2, 2016.

The 35-year-old suspect arrived at Skaraborg district court in a police car with a blanket over him. Image: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The 35-year-old suspect arrived at Skaraborg district court in a police car with a blanket over him. Image: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The killer killed in prison

After the verdict, Nerijus Bilevicius began serving his sentence at Norrtäljesanstalten.

In September 2016, Expressen reports that he has asked to be transferred to his home country.

“I want to be transferred to Lithuania,” writes the 36-year-old in an application to the Prison Service.

As reasons, he cites partly the language barrier and partly the long distance from his wife and parents in Lithuania.

And in August 2017, almost a year after his application was submitted, the Correctional Service decides that Nerijus Bilevicius will be allowed to serve his sentence in his home country.

– In an overall assessment of all factors, we find that his social reintegration is facilitated by the fact that enforcement continues to take place in Lithuania, says Per Henrik Hedbrant, head of the section for international and other special client matters to GP in connection with the decision being made.

After several rounds in court, it is decided that the sentence of life sentence should also apply in Lithuania, even though a district court in Lithuania initially considered that the sentence should be equivalent to 15 years in prison in the country.

Nerijus Bilevicius. Image: The police

Nerijus Bilevicius. Image: The police

For Nerijus Bilevicius, history comes to an abrupt end on August 4, 2022.

The Lithuanian newspaper Lrytas then announces that Nerijus Bilevicius was stabbed in the throat by another prisoner at the prison in Marijampolé. He died on the way to the hospital.

It was not the first time that he had been attacked in prison. Just over five years earlier, he had hot water thrown in his face.

One of the most talked about cases in Sweden

The murder of Lisa Holm is to this day one of Missing People’s biggest search efforts ever.

Many were touched by the case in the small town and the murder itself is considered one of the most talked about murders in Sweden’s modern history. The case received a lot of media attention, and in connection with the 17-year-old’s disappearance, daily press meetings and large police operations were held.

Lisa Holm’s family kept a low profile throughout the course of events. Only when Nerijus Bilevicius was sentenced to life imprisonment was a written statement submitted which was read out in the SVT program Veckans Brott. There they said, among other things, that she was a victim of chance. The statement ended with:

“The sadness we feel cannot be described in words”.

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