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Banker's wife found dead

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Banker's wife found dead
Photo: DPA
08:02 CEST+02:00
The police on Friday confirmed a dead woman found in the woods in Baden-Württemberg is Maria Bögerl, a banker's wife who was kidnapped three weeks ago.

The spot where the body was discovered was very close to the meeting point for a failed ransom money handover, prompting suspicions it was Bögerl.

A post-mortem established her identity and the authorities at a press conference on Friday evening said that she had been stabbed to death.

Her body was found between the towns of Nietheim and Niesitz in the Heidenheim region.

Mrs Bögerl, who was the wife of Thomas Bögerl, Sparkasse banking chief for Heidenheim, was kidnapped on the morning of May 12.

Her husband received a call from a man who said he had kidnapped Mrs Bögerl and would kill her unless Mr Bögerl left €300,000 at a designated point by the side of the nearby A7 motorway. That handover never took place, however, because the kidnapper did not show up.

In the meantime, Mr Bögerl had contacted police.

"The police were informed shortly after the first call by the perpetrator," said chief inspector Volker Lück on Friday. "The perpetrator's tight timeframe and detailed instructions made it impossible to deposit the ransom at the location in time."

Some 100 police officers and 500 police dogs were involved in the massive search for Mrs Bögerl. Helicopters with heat sensing cameras were also used.

Three days ago, police released a computer image of a ponytailed man who was seen near the Bögerl home on the morning of the kidnapping and also near the town of Nietheim. Investigators have received about 2,500 tips from the public after the release of the picture, though they have not yet identified the man.

The man who made the call demanding ransom is thought to be middle aged and he spoke with a local Swabian accent, according to Lück.

A reward of €100,000 is being offered for information.

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