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Search for missing Berlin teen Rebecca reopened

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Search for missing Berlin teen Rebecca reopened
Police vehicles in the forest near Kummersdorf. Photo: DPA
10:40 CEST+02:00
More than six months after the disappearance of 15-year-old Rebecca Reusch from Berlin, police have started a new search operation in east Brandenburg.

On Tuesday around 100 police and search dogs gathered in Kummersdorf, about 25 kilometres southwest of Berlin, to search for the girl, who was reported missing by her mother on February 18th after she failed to return home from school. Members of the homicide commission were also deployed. 

According to the police, however, it is still unclear how the search will proceed.

 Police looking for evidence on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

"The Homicide Commission will announce this on Wednesday after the evaluation of today's search, if necessary," a spokesperson told DPA

At the beginning of March, police combed through the forest extensively for any indications of evidence for the missing teenager, but called off the search later that month.

READ ALSO: Missing teen story grips Germany as police call off search

The student was last seen alive on the morning of February 18th at her brother-in-law Fabian R.’s apartment. 

The suspicion fell on Fabian R, who was placed in pre-trial custody, but was released later due to lack of evidence. Reusch's family claimed his innocence.

Current search

The current search was started at the initiative of Berlin’s homicide commission. Yet the police did not want to reveal whether there were any new pieces of evidence.

The area southeast of Berlin was already the focus of the police in the spring, because Florian R. was said to have been on the A12 motorway in the direction of Frankfurt (Oder) on the day of her disappearance, as well as the evening that followed. 

Police and prosecutors assume that Reusch was killed.

A social media image of Rebecca Reusch. Image: DPA

The police had searched forests and lakes for many weeks. Special search dogs, boats and divers as well as thermal imaging cameras were used.

At the beginning of August a spokeswoman of the Berlin public prosecutor's office had said that there were no new leads, but that the investigation was continuing. 

A public prosecutor's spokesman had previously said that Reusch was “not a cold case, but on the contrary". He used “cold case” in English, implying an unsolved mystery.

1,700 tip-offs

As reported by The Local, the story has gripped Germany ever since the teenager was first reported missing on February 18th. 

In early March the police searched a forested area in Rieplos, Brandenburg, after receiving over 1,700 ‘tip-offs' from the general public that the location may hide secrets of Reusch's disappearance. 

Many of the tip-offs were prompted by the airing of an episode of 'Aktenzeichen XY' on ZDF which focused on Reusch's case.

Berlin police are asking anyone with additional information to call the phone number +49 30 4664 90 4090.

 
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