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crimesider

Arrest in case of U.S. nanny found dead in Austria

American Lauren Mann, of Colorado, is seen in an undated photo posted to her Facebook account.

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VIENNA, AUSTRIA --A 24-year-old man from the Gambia is in custody in Switzerland on suspicion of murdering a U.S. au pair who was found dead in her apartment last month in Vienna, Austrian officials confirmed to 48 Hours' Crimesider.

U.S. authorities have identified the victim as Lauren Mann, 25. Mann, of Paonia, Colorado, graduated in 2012 from the University of Colorado-Boulder's College of Music. She had been working as an au pair in Vienna and her employer called police when she didn't show up for work. Police and firefighters forced open her door Jan. 26 and found her half-naked body on a mattress in the bedroom.

Austrian police have said her cause of death was suffocation.

Nina Bussek, a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor's office in Vienna, confirmed the arrest but said few details -- including the suspect's name -- are being made public as her office continues to investigate. Prosecutors submitted an arrest warrant for the suspect on Feb. 3, said Christina Salzborn, a spokeswoman for the Regional Criminal Court of Vienna.

Salzborn said Austrian officials have asked for the man's extradition from Switzerland, but it will be up to Swiss officials to rule on the request.

The suspect, 24, is contesting the extradition, she said.

She wasn't sure how long the extradition process could take. If he's returned to Austria, it will then be up to the public prosecutor's office in Vienna to submit an indictment sheet formally accusing him of murder once their pre-trial investigation is complete, Salzborn said.

Salzborn said DNA evidence found at the crime scene was a part of the investigation, but said she didn't know what led to the suspect's arrest last week.

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for CBSNews.com's Crimesider.