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Missing German doctor reappears after 22 years

Dead, in his garage roof

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A German doctor who went missing 22 years ago has been found - as a mummified skeleton under the rafters of his garage roof, The Guardian reports.

Father of two Siegfried B went awol shortly after his 50th birthday back in May 1985. He told his wife he was going out and duly exited his house in Bergholz-Rehbrücke, south of Berlin, never to return. Police subsequently searched the premises, including the garage, but didn't check a large dovecot(e)* above.

His wife recently decided to renovate the garage roof, and workers got a nasty shock when they set to work. Prosecutor Wilfried Lehmann explained: "When they removed the layers of asbestos they discovered the mummified skeleton. Siegfried B was hidden in the roof, and next to him were a schnaps bottle and a suicide note."

Police confirmed that the deceased's wife, a physiotherapist, was "shocked to learn that she had parked her car beneath her husband's body for two decades".

As an added twist to this macabre tale, there was speculation that the East German secret police might have had a hand in his death. Neighbours "reported seeing a dark limousine draw up outside the house several times, and the men inside it pulling Siegfried B into the car and driving off".

However, although the doctor was believed to be an "active opponent" of the communist regime, police said his death is not being treated as suspicious. ®

Bootnote

*See readers' comments for a lively debate as to the correct spelling of dovecot(e). Bless.

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