Search continues for missing mum and child

Police are still searching for clues to help them find a mother and daughter who disappeared from a small town in Lower Saxony nearly a month ago.

Search continues for missing mum and child
Police search for mother Sylvia and daughter Miriam Schulze, missing since last month. Photo: DPA.

Police continued the search for the 43-year-old mother Sylvia Schulze and 12-year-old daughter Miriam on Wednesday by a lake and forest in Harburg near their family home in Lower Saxony.

The body of father Marco Schulze, 41, was discovered drowned on July 31st in the Elbe River.

Investigators said there was no evidence of foul play on his body and that they are considering the possibility of suicide.

The whole family has been missing since last month when acquaintances reported to police that they couldn't get in contact with them.

The father was last seen on July 23rd, when witnesses said they saw him driving his wife's car. The car was found parked at the family home, though, when police began their search.

A witness told police that she had seen the family all together at the lake where the police have now been searching.

Police said they believe the witness saw the family on July 22nd, the last school day before summer vacation for Lower Saxony.

Police said they have around 60 people searching for the mother and daughter.

Photo: Harburg police.



Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?

Under the latest German travel rules, vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine when returning from holidays abroad - but their unvaccinated children may not be. Here's who's allowed to take care of them.

Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?
Looking after children in quarantine can be tricky for working parents. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Germany’s new travel rules, which came into force on August 1st, were in many ways intended to make it easier for families to go on foreign holidays. 

While previously all children over the age of six had to submit a negative test or proof of recovery from Covid when flying into a Germany, now only children aged 12 and over have to show a negative test (or proof of vaccination and recovery) on their return.

READ ALSO: Germany to require Covid tests for all unvaccinated travellers arriving by ‘plane, car or train’

That essentially means that only children who are legally able to get vaccinated fall under the scope of the new rules when returning from abroad – so families whose kids are too young to get a jab won’t have to pay for tests for them.

Of course, in a global pandemic things are never quite that simple: under the latest rules, some families may still run into problems when returning from a high-risk or virus variant areas. If all the adults are vaccinated, they won’t have to quarantine, but unvaccinated children will face anywhere from five days (for a high-risks area) to two weeks (for a virus variant area) confined at home. 

Here’s what you can do if your children are in quarantine but you’re not – and you need a third-party to help look after them. 

Can grandparents or a babysitter come round to help out? 

In general, visitors aren’t allowed to enter the house during quarantine, the Federal Health Ministry told regional radio station BR24. If several people are allowed to pay visits and then leave again, it would be much harder to control the spread of the virus – which is, of course, the whole aim of self-isolation.

However, there are exceptions to this if there is a “good cause” for the visitors to be there, the ministry explained. This could mean, for example, that a carer could come into to check on an elderly resident in quarantine, or that a babysitter could come to look after the children in urgent situations.

Be aware, though, that even a “good cause” doesn’t give you a free pass to invite a rotating cast of babysitters and neighbours round to your home. Social contact should still be limited as much as possible, so it’s best to stick to a regular babysitter or relatives such as grandparents, who can come round regularly over the course of one or two weeks while your children are in quarantine. 

Can the children quarantine at someone else’s house? 

According to the Ministry for Health, that can be worked out on a case-by-case basis – and specific rules may vary depending on where you live.


The best thing to do is to contact your local health authority and ask them for advice on your situation. They’ll be able to advise you directly on whether, for example, the children’s grandparents or another relative can pick them up from the airport and take them to stay with them for the duration of the quarantine.