""The Auld Triangle" is located on the inner city ring road. The way home to Borchener Straße was not far, a quarter of an hour perhaps. Frauke had about three euros in her wallet. So she had to walk. But as an apprentice nurse, she wouldn't have spent money on a cab anyway. There were three possible routes. We don't know which one she took. Only that she was soon out of town. The first SMS came from the Nieheim-Entrup radio cell, 40 kilometres from Paderborn. The cell phone had dialed into the tower there. Because there were barely two hours between leaving the pub and the SMS, we assume that Frauke got into a vehicle somewhere. There is no other way to do it. There are two indications that it was voluntary: The SMS sounded completely normal. And: If she had been dragged into the car under duress, someone would have been more likely to notice. Although, of course, there is a small amount of uncertainty.
It was strange. The colleagues initiated proceedings on suspicion of kidnapping. So they were able to monitor Frauke's telephone connections. Unfortunately, it's not like on TV, we can't listen in. We only get locations and connection data. At the same time, her photo was shown on the screens at the public viewing. Colleagues canvassed contacts and asked whether she had found shelter somewhere.
She reported in regularly. Then the colleagues rightly said: Damn it, everyone can decide for themselves what they do and where. There was also no ransom demand. The media then appealed to Frauke to contact her family. And that also had an effect.
After the call on Saturday.
If there was perhaps still a suspicion among the police that Frauke was being held, it was further weakened by this call during the day.
After the last call.
I see it today as a cry for help, because she suspected or knew what was coming.
Whether the colleagues had to assume a capital crime at that point, I will leave unanswered today. They tried, they canvassed people. It went on for weeks. And then it ebbed and flowed. There were no more calls, no more text messages, all the questioning came to nothing, so that at some point there were no more leads. You were at the end of the line. The end.
Unfortunately, the identification of the radio cells is not enough to have all the houses there searched.
She chatted with a whole range of people. We even traveled to Nuremberg months later because she had chat partners there. But all young people, just like Frauke, who enjoyed the exchange. No one who bothered her.
The remains were found
I was on duty at Homicide on October 4. The call came in around 7, 8 p.m.. A hunter had found a body. Suspected homicide, a case for us. It could be Frauke Liebs, they said, the clothes matched. The body was lying on country road 817, only about ten meters from the road, in a hollow under a tree. No house around, no pedestrians.
I knew right away that it was going to be complicated. The body was decomposed to the bones. The warm summer, the humidity, plus the animals. There was no visible sign of force on the clothing. No tears. The explosive dogs found no evidence of gunshots. It did not appear to me to be a crime scene, just a drop-off location. The weather had destroyed all foot and tire tracks.
I think he went there deliberately to prevent the body from being found in a timely manner. It became difficult for forensic medicine. Frauke had died at most a few days after the last call. Cause unexplained. No mechanical force against the bones. No evidence of knife or gunshot wounds. The tongue bone was not broken, which often happens in strangulation. Conceivably, she was suffocated. We had no evidence of abuse, but we couldn't rule it out either. Socks were missing, but it is not certain if she was wearing any, it was very hot the day she disappeared. Definitely missing were cell phone, watch and purse. No traces of drugs in bones or hair. Knockout drops would have dissipated quickly, though.
The perpetrator did not take much time to cover the body. It was only covered with a little brushwood and leaves. He was not very careful in my understanding.
The first suspect is always the last contact.
Chris had alibis beyond doubt. The last companions from the pub could also be quickly ruled out. Frauke, however, had texted with one person during the game, that was a new acquaintance (Niels).
We have checked Niels' alibis very intensively.
Niels has nothing to do with Frauke's death, we know that today. If someone was at work at the time of the call or if the time window between the end of the working day and the call was so small, then that is simply not possible. We still looked for fiber traces in his car and used cadaver sniffing dogs, but there was nothing. With Niels, we were clearly looking at the wrong person.
We have involved the SIB, the Special Investigation Branch. This is the English criminal investigation department for military personnel. They supported us, checked and questioned soldiers. Without any results.
Shortly after the funeral, when we realized that our investigation was going nowhere, we called in the Operative Case Analysis of the State Criminal Police Office. The colleagues were certain that something had happened that very first night, shortly after the text message, that caused the mood to change. And they determined that Nieheim was the place of detention. Why? Because the first SMS was located in Nieheim and they had also mentioned the place in the missing persons reports. The perpetrator had to react to this. Therefore the trips to other radio cells. And that's probably why Frauke had always mentioned Paderborn.
The cell tower in Nieheim is very high, so the cell reaches 15 kilometres. So a large area came into question. We put flyers in all the mailboxes. As a result, we received about 80 tips about possible detention sites. Houses that were out of the way, barns, cars, trucks, caravans, the whole gamut. We really worked through everything, but ...
There are cases that are simply shitty, plainly speaking. We have now checked 900 people. There have been about 40 searches. The last one was a few weeks ago. We got a tip that someone had Frauke's cell phone. But unfortunately - no. Once again burst like a bubble. Anyone who knows something, please contact us, anonymously if you like. My telephone number is: 00495215450."
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