A German woman who was thought to be a murder victim after a man confessed to killing her decades ago appears to have just turned up alive and well, police in Germany said.
Student murdered turns up alive 31 years after disappearance
Petra Pazsitka’s “disappearance” was actually a carefully orchestrated plot to start a new life, German police said.
Petra Pazsitka, then a 24-year-old computer science student in Braunschweig, hit the headlines in 1984 after she was reported missing when she failed to show up for her brother's birthday party.
Despite widespread manhunts, her body was never found and she was declared dead in 1989.
She was living in the city of Braunschweig when she disappeared on July 26, 1984.
According to the Telegraph, who quoted an unnamed friend, Pazsitka was studying computer science and had just finished her thesis paper.
She had gone to the dentist the last day she was seen, and had planned on going to visit her parents afterward. But she never made it there, sparking a huge manhunt, according to the Telegraph.
Pazsitka’s disappearance initially stumped investigators, and her case was featured on a German true crime show called Aktenzeichen XY.
Now, a staggering 31 years on, Miss Pazsitka has been found living in the western city of Dusseldorf, with no official documents and under the identity of 'Mrs. Schneider", NBC eports.
Aged 55, she was discovered after alerting police to a burglary at her home.
When asked for her name by officers, the woman initially called herself 'Mrs Schneider', it is reported. However, after being asked for identification, she later confessed her true identity.
Joachim Grande, of Braunschweig Police, said Miss Pazsitka revealed she had been living in several German cities over the past three decades, without telling any relatives she was alive.
She was able to evade notice because she never opened a bank account or had a social security card, a driver’s license, or a passport.
An official told NBC News the now 55-year-old paid for everything in cash and made money doing “illicit work.”
“We asked her if there was violence or sexual assault in the family, but she has clearly ruled that out,” an official said according to the Telegraph.
According to NBC News, the woman’s brother and mother were “in shock and tears when they heard the news.”
A spokesman for Braunschweig Police said: 'As to the motive of her disappearance, she gave no explanation, and expressly said that she continues to want no contact with the public or her family.'
Prosecutors do not consider Miss Pazsitka to have committed a criminal offence, it is reported.
However, she now must be officially registered with German authorities as alive.
Miss Pazsitka's relatives have asked police to deliver a letter to their newly-discovered loved one.
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