28 Sep 2015

‘Dead’ woman emerges 31 years after she disappeared and 28 years after a man confessed to killing her

A woman who vanished 31 years ago and was assumed dead after a man confessed to killing her has emerged alive and well, admitting she plotted her own disappearance.
The alleged murder victim, Petra Pazsitka, from the northern German city of Braunschweig, was 24 when she disappeared in 1984 while living in student accommodation.
The woman, now 55, concocted a plan involving moving into an apartment she had been secretly renting. She had put aside more than 4,000 Deutschmarks for her new life (worth $3,000CD in today’s money).
Pazsitka, who had completed a university thesis on computer languages, was last seen going to the dentist on July 26, 1984. She left the practice to take the bus to her parents in nearby Wolfsburg, according to a friend. 
She never arrived, and a manhunt ensued. Police started a murder inquiry, suspecting the person who had killed a 14-year-old girl near the stop where Pazsitka was supposed to catch the bus had struck again.
In 1985 a 19-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, named only as Gunter K, was arrested and confessed to the murder of the teenager. In 1987 he also admitted to killing Pazsitka, and she was officially declared dead in 1989.
Pazsitka’s plot emerged when she was found living under a false name in Dusseldorf two weeks ago by police investigating a burglary. The woman told the officers the name on the house door was not hers and she was the student from Braunschweig who had gone missing 31 years ago.
The woman used her old, out-of-date identity card to prove her identity.
Pazsitka said she had lived in several cities in west Germany, without a social security card, a drivers’ licence, a passport or a bank account.


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