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Police find medicines at co-pilot's home

March 28, 2015

Investigators have found drugs used in the treatment of psychological problems at the house of the Germanwings co-pilot. The findings were reported by German weekly Welt am Sonntag.

Image: Steinbach/Getty Images

The German weekly Welt am Sonntag revealed on Saturday that police have discovered drugs used to treat psychological disorders and proof of a serious "psychosomatic illness" of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who is thought to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings plane on Tuesday into the French Alps, killing 150 people.

Bild said that the 27-year-old co-pilot had been treated by "several neurologists and psychiatrists." Investigators found several drugs used to treat psychological ailments at Lubitz's home in Düsseldorf. Police, however, did not find any indication of alcohol or other addictive drugs.

German prosecutors believed he also hid an illness from Germanwings, the Lufthansa subsidiary he had been working for as a co-pilot since 2013.

Sick notes

Investigators on Friday said they found "medical documents that suggested an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment." They also found "torn-up and current sick-leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash."

Lubitz's personality was an important line of investigation, but not the only one, Jean-Pierre Michel, head of the French police's delegation, told journalists in Düsseldorf. They had not found any other problems in the co-pilot's personal life, such as relationship problems, which could explain his behavior. Prosecutors were also planning to look into the co-pilot's computer and question his parents.

Frankreich Digne-les-Bains Trauergottesdienst Germanwings Absturz
Funeral service at Digne-les-BainsImage: Getty Images/AFP/J. Pachoud

Plagued by nightmares

In an interview with German newspaper Bild, an ex-girlfriend of the co-pilot said he had once told her: "One day I'll do something that will change the system and then everyone will know my name and remember it."

The woman, who was referred to as Maria W., told Bild that if he crashed his plane, then it was possibly "because he realized that due to his health problems, his big dreams of working at Lufthansa, of having a job as a pilot and as a pilot on long-distance flights, was nearly impossible."

According to Maria W, he spoke a lot about work. "He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure." She also said he would wake up from nightmares, screaming "we are crashing."

Mourners gather near crash site

Meanwhile, relatives of the passengers who died in the A320 crash on Tuesday gathered in the Digne-les-Bains cathedral for a funeral service. Lufthansa and Germanwings representatives present at the event thanked "the several thousand helpers" who assisted the companies' investigations.

German chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck were also scheduled to participate in a memorial service organized at the Cologne cathedral on April 17 for the victims of the air crash.

mg/sb (Reuters, AFP)