DUESSELDORF – A German “murder” victim has been found alive and well in Dusseldorf more than 30 years after her disappearance.
Petra Pazsitka’s 1984 disappearance triggered a massive police search when the then-24-year-old student in Braunschweig was reported missing after failing to show up at her brother’s birthday.
Then aged 24, she had withdrawn money from her bank account and told her neighbor to look after her pet bird. A huge search effort turned up no clues and authorities declared her deceased five years later.
Later, a man convicted of killing a missing teen nearby also confessed to Pazsitka’s murder, but he later retracted his confession.
The mystery continued to baffle police until they stumbled upon the now 55-year-old while investigating a robbery. Pazsitka had no ID and confessed to police that she had been living under a fake identity in Duesseldorf, a city in the west of Germany.
Pazsitka, now 55, told police she had been living without any official documents under a false name in several German cities for the past three decades, Grande said.
“She did not even have a bank account and paid all her bills cash,” Grande said, adding that Pazsitka appeared to have been making a small income through illicit work.
According to Grande, Pazsitka would not elaborate on why she was living under a false name or why she disappeared in the first place, saying only that the woman had said family issues were not behind her disappearance.
“Her father passed away a few years ago, but her brother and mother were in shock and tears when they heard the news,” the police spokesman said.
However, Grande said Pazsitka has stated she does not want contact with her family or the public. Pazsitka’s family has asked police to deliver a letter to her in hopes of one day reuniting, he added.
Prosecutors say Pazsitka has been officially declared alive and will not be charged with a crime.
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