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Corpse of girl dubbed ‘the German Madeleine McCann’ found in woodland


The body of a girl who’d been dubbed ‘the German Madeleine McCann’ may have been discovered. 

Peggy Knobloch went missing on her way back from primary school in Bavaria 15 years ago, when she was nine years old.

A huge search stretched as far as Turkey and the Czech Republic, with police suspecting she had been kidnapped then – as time passed – murdered.

The German army joined the search, sending military planes to try and track her, but despite the international manhunt there was no sign of her body until now.

Human remains were found by a member of the public who was out gathering mushrooms in the woods outside Thueringen over the weekend.

Picture taken on January 8, 2014 at the cemetery in Nordhalben near Kronach, southern Germany, shows the portrait of alleged murder victim Peggy Knobloch on a memorial stone. A grave on the cemetery of Lichtenberg situated nearby the house where she used to live was opened on January 8, 2014 in connection with the case that is one of the country's most mysterious. The police thought to find in the grave the body of Peggy Knobloch, who had disappeared aged nine in May 2001, but "with the utmost probability", only the remainings of an adult person were found. AFP PHOTO / JENS-ULRICH KOCH (Photo credit should read JENS-ULRICH KOCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Alleged murder victim Peggy Knobloch on a memorial stone

Prosecutor Herbert Potzel told the BBC that the remains, found near her home, ‘most probably’ belonged to the girl, but police will carry out DNA tests to be certain.

As well as her bones, police found personal belongings which they believe the child may have had with her when she disappeared.

Reports suggest the girl may have been buried in a shallow grave which became disturbed by animals, pushing her bones to the surface.

More than 100 police officers have been sent to the woods to try and find any clues which could help them discover who killed her.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Action Press/REX/Shutterstock (5745189p) Police officers at the site where remains were found Suspected bones of missing Peggy Knobloch found near Rodacherbrunn, Germany - 04 Jul 2016 The skeletal parts found in a wooded area in Thuringia submitted offentsichtlich of the missing 15 years Peggy from Upper Franconia . The police headquarters Upper Franconia and Bayreuth prosecutor declared on Monday the remains " most likely " of the student who disappeared in the Lichtenberg district court 2,001th. At the site seized objects indicated also pointed at the girl . A mushroom picker had found the skeletal remains on Saturday near Rodacherbrunn in Thuringia and informed the police . Lichtenberg is located at only 15km entfernt.
100 officers searched the site

In 2002, a local man with a learning disability was accused of killing her to cover up sexually abusing her. He made a confession and was jailed for life.

However, he later withdrew his confession, and walked free.

Peggy’s disappearance on May 5, 2001 sparked massive media coverage and a global search, comparable to the hunt for Madeline McCann, the British toddler who went missing from an apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz.

There were fears Peggy could have been abducted and taken abroad, as was a line of enquiry in the McCann case.


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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field