‘Murder victim’ found alive after 31 years


German police say a woman who disappeared in 1984, sparking a murder hunt, has been found alive and well and living in Duesseldorf.

Petra Pazsitka, then 24, was declared dead five years after she went missing from her student accommodation.

A man convicted of murdering a teenager who went missing nearby confessed to killing the young woman too.

However police investigating a robbery came across a tenant, a 55-year-old woman, who had no ID.

She told the officers that she had been living under a false identity and gave them her real name.

Ms Pazsitka’s disappearance was the subject of an appeal on the German crime show “Aktenzeichen XY”.

A spokesman for police in Braunschweig, the northern German city where Ms Pazsitka was studying computer sciences in 1984, said she had wished to remain undiscovered.

“She said only a little about the background of her disappearance and why she left back then,” Joachim Grande said.

“She said that she had prepared for it and that she wanted it,” he added.

Ms Pazsitka had withdrawn DM4,000 from her bank to start a new life, he said, and gave a student neighbour keys to her apartment to look after her pet birds.

He said the officially dead woman’s elderly mother and brother were “absolutely shocked” when they heard she was still alive.

The family want to have contact, German media report, but Ms Pazsitka does not wish to see them.