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Possible kidnapping in Meckenheim: Were the mother and child taken out of the country?

Possible kidnapping in Meckenheim : Were the mother and child taken out of the country?

There is still no trace of the 34-year-old woman and her three-year-old son who were allegedly kidnapped in Meckenheim on Thursday. Police have now launched an international manhunt. The husband was initially taken into custody but then released again.

Bonn police are still looking for a 34-year-old woman who was apparently abducted from the village where she lived, Lüftelberg, together with her three-year-old son on Thursday. In addition to a large-scale search operation, an international manhunt was launched by police on Friday morning. "Based on the findings so far, it is not ruled out that the 34-year-old and her three-year-old son were taken out of the country by other - so far unknown - accomplices," Michael Beyer, spokesman for the Bonn police, explained. In the meantime, a police investigative commission has taken over further steps and is coordinating the international search with the public prosecutor's office.

As police spokesman Beyer explained, mother and son were forced into a car against their will by several people in Lüftelberg on Thursday morning. The scene of the crime was the bus stop on one of the main thoroughfares of the tranquil village, which is considered an extremely respectable residential area. Restored half-timbered houses and well-kept single-family homes dominate the neighborhood. Time of the event: Around 9 a.m. A witness who lives directly opposite the bus stop in Lüftelberg, where the mother and her son were standing, observed a “luxury white SUV" stopping at the bus stop on Thursday morning. Two women are said to have jumped out and dragged the mother and son into the SUV, according to witness reports. The whole thing is said to have lasted only a few minutes, after which the vehicle sped away. The witness did not memorized the license plate, but immediately alerted the police.

Helicopter circled over Meckenheim-Lüftelberg

A short time later, police showed up in large numbers in the village of 1,300 inhabitants. Daniel Südhof, leader of the small village, was alarmed by the number of flashing blue lights, sirens, police officers and closed off streets. Especially alarming was the police helicopter which was flying overhead, having been deployed to help in the search. It circled over the village for about an hour around 10 a.m., says Südhof: "It flew so low that it created waves in my pool. That was very unusual." Südhof tried to find out what was going on but police told him he needed to contact the press department because it was an ongoing investigation. ”Of course, since then, there have been a lot of rumors circulating in the village," says the village head: "Before, no one knew the woman, now everyone claims to have known everything about her."

When asked about the perpetrator or perpetrators, the 39-year-old husband of the woman, who is separated from her, quickly came under suspicion of having been involved in the crime. "According to previous findings, the 34-year-old woman had separated from the man in November of 2020," police spokesman Beyer reports. According to police, domestic violence had been involved at that time. The 34-year-old then moved to Meckenheim with her three-year-old son.

Search for wife and son from Meckenheim continues

According to initial investigations by the police, a court decision regarding custody of the son was pending shortly. Beyer said that police were able to find the suspected husband at his home address in Ratingen and take him into preliminary custody. The investigations against him continue. On Friday afternoon the police communicated that the 39-year-old was allowed to leave the police headquarters. So far, they had no proof of his direct involvement in the crime in Meckenheim. Since the families immigrated from a Southeast European country, the fear is that the kidnappers could have brought mother and child to the former home country.

Meanwhile, police are concentrating their efforts on the search for the 34-year-old and her three-year-old son. “Following the publication of the photos of the two missing persons, so far no clues have been received as to their current whereabouts," says Beyer. An investigation on the two women alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping is also ongoing.

Anyone who can provide information on the whereabouts of the missing persons is asked to contact the Bonn police at 0228/15-0 or the Mettmann district police at 02104/9826210.

Orig. text: Axel Vogel, Peter Kölschbach

Translation: ck