Hamburg police find long-hidden corpse of elderly man | News | DW | 01.10.2018
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Hamburg police find long-hidden corpse of elderly man

While searching an apartment a 73-year-old woman in Hamburg, German police discovered the body of her husband who had been missing for over a year. Authorities believe that the woman "had trouble letting go."

An elderly woman hid the body of her deceased husband for over a year in their Hamburg apartment, officials said on Monday, adding that the woman's motives were not yet clear.

The 73-year-old shared the apartment in the upscale Rotherbaum neighborhood with her 74-year-old husband. According to a report by the mass-circulation daily Bild, a manager for the property alerted the police after not seeing the man for some 18 months.

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The authorities visited the woman's home on September 19, and grew suspicious after she refused to open one of the rooms. Eventually, they gained entry and discovered the corpse. Bild reported that the body was wrapped in packing paper and blankets, and that the woman apparently made sure to air the room regularly.

A 'tragic family event'

Police assume the man had been dead for over a year, although the exact date was hard to determine. An autopsy found no evidence of foul play. A spokesperson for the prosecutors' office, Nana Frombach, said that there were no indications of a crime being committed.

"This is most likely a tragic family event," Frombach said. "The old lady probably had trouble letting go."

Despite the preliminary information, further investigations are pending, including a toxicology and chemical screening of the body.

dj/msh (AFP, dpa)