Spedition takes body in Darmstadt

Freight forwarders who cleared an apartment in Darmstadt also stored what was supposed to be a mannequin. It was only weeks later that the employees realized that something was wrong.

A police cordon.  Archive photo: dpa/Swen Pförtner

A police cordon.
(Archive photo: dpa/Swen Pförtner)

DARMSTADT – Forwarders packed a doll, among other things, when clearing an apartment in Darmstadt. Two months later, however, this turned out to be a corpse in the company’s warehouse. This case, which was initially reported by the Bild newspaper, was confirmed by senior public prosecutor Robert Hartmann: “Hard to believe, but it actually happened.”

When the employees of the forwarding agency had doubts about the doll they had taken from the apartment on February 9, they alerted the police. That was on April 14th. The body already showed clear signs of decomposition, says Hartmann.

No signs of outside interference

The public prosecutor then ordered an autopsy. It turned out that the person was the tenant of the apartment that had been cleared out.

Why he died can no longer be clarified beyond doubt because the decomposition was already too far advanced. But there were no signs of outside interference, according to Hartmann. This meant that the initial suspicion of a criminal offense could not be maintained. “For us, the legal incident is over,” explains the senior public prosecutor.

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The discovery must have come as a shock to the employees of the shipping company. “They didn’t recognize it,” says Hartmann. According to information from the German Press Agency, a bailiff is said to have commissioned the forwarders because the tenant had to vacate the apartment. They are said to have mistaken the body for a mannequin.


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This article was originally published on April 25, 2022 at 4:32 p.m.