Car and mobile phone of kidnapped banker’s wife found

Car and mobile phone of kidnapped banker’s wife found
Photo: DPA
Police said the black Mercedes A-Class car and mobile phone belonging to the wife of a senior banker kidnapped this week have been found, as the search for 54-year-old Maria Bögerl continued Saturday.

Bögerl was being held to ransom of several hundred thousand euros. She is the wife of Thomas Bögerl, Sparkasse banking chief in the Heidenheim region of Baden-Wüttemberg.

Bögerl’s parked car was spotted Friday evening about 20 kilometers away at the Neresheim Abbey. Police said the car is being examined by forensics and confirmed that the phone found Wednesday afternoon belonged to Maria Bögerl.

“The longer it takes, the more critical this situation becomes,” a police spokesman told mass circulation daily Bild.

More than 400 police officers were still combing through the woodland area near the A7 motorway on Saturday. Three helicopter equipped with infrared cameras, as well as sniffer dogs, were also dispatched for the search.

“I hope very much that this distressing uncertainty will end soon and that Mrs. Bögerl will return to her family unharmed,” said Heidenheim Mayor Bernhard Ilg.

Bild reported that Thomas Bögerl spoke with his wife by phone and she told him the kidnapper or kidnappers were threatening to kill her. Less than an hour after Bögerl was snatched, her husband received a call from a kidnapper. He was ordered to leave the ransom money on the A7 motorway near Heidenheim, marked with a German flag.

He followed the orders but the money – reportedly several hundred thousand euros – was not collected.

“Despite all the demands being fulfilled, there was no handover,” an investigator told Bild.

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