Frauke Liebs: 2006
2006: Frauke Liebs was a nurse studying in the city of Paderborn in Germany. Tuesday, June 20 was a normal summer day. That afternoon, she met her mum and roommate Chris for dinner in a restaurant. Afterward, Frauke greeted friends at an Irish pub downtown to watch the 2006 World Cup.
During the game, Frauke’s phone died. At around 11 pm, Frauke said goodbye to her friends and went home lonely. It is supposed likely that she went on foot, as she just had 5 euros with her. The distance to her house is 1.5km (1 mile), and it is unfamiliar which way she took. According to her roommate Chris, she never made it home.
At 12:49 am, Chris receives a text message from Frauke (with a typo):
I’ll be home later. The match was fun not versus England 🙂 Love you see you later
picture – The text was delivered from Nieheim, a town 35km (21 mi) away. (Note: how did Frauke get her cell phone recharged? How did she end up so far, without having access to a car?)
The following morning, Frauke didn’t show up to the nursing school at 8 am, and her classmate called roommate Chris. Chris told that Frauke never came home, and he called the region’s hospitals. On the exact day, Frauke’s mum reported her missing to the police.
In the next few days, Frauke called her roommate Chris numerous times from her cell phone. Most of the brief calls came in the evening, and Frauke talked vaguely and evasively. The calls were traced to numerous industrial regions in Paderborn.
June 22: 10:25 pm
Frauke calls from Hövelhof (16km north of Paderborn center)
Frauke: Hello Christos, I just wanted to notify you I’m fine.
Chris: (Interrupts her) Hey where are you? When are you coming home?
Frauke: Please tell mum and dad I’m fine. (hangs up)
Analysis: Chris guessed it was strange that Frauke addressed him by his full name. Also, she sounded exhausted and distressed.
June 23: 11:04 pm
Frauke sends a text and later calls from Dören (6km NE of Paderborn center)
SMS: I’ll be coming home today. Now in Paderborn Love you
Frauke’s brother Frank calls Frauke after Chris receives the text:
Frank: Where are you? What are you doing? When are you coming back?
Frauke: I’m coming home, not too late, I’m in Paderborn, don’t ask, I will be coming home.
June 24: 2:22 pm
Frauke calls Chris from Mönkeloh (5km south of Paderborn center)
No transcript is accessible – this call is unique as it’s the middle of the day
June 25: 10:28 pm
Frauke calls Chris from Berliner Ring (populated residential region, 3km to center)
No transcript is accessible – according to the website set up by her mum, this call did take place.
June 27: 11:29 pm
Frauke calls Chris, and Frauke’s sister Karen is also with Chris
Frauke: Hello Chrissy. I’m fine.
Chris: Where are you?
Frauke: I can not tell it.
Chris: Come home.
Frauke: No, I can’t do that.
Chris: Why not?
Frauke: I can not tell you.
Chris: Are you being held captive?
Frauke: (whispers) Yes … (from the background, someone shouts:) No! No!
Chris: Are you frightened?
Chris: Who is with you?
Frauke: I can not tell you.
Chris: Are you exhausted?
Frauke: Yes, very exhausted.
Chris: Do you know the police are looking for you?
Frauke: Yes, you know that, Chris.
Chris: No. Have you met another man?
Frauke: You know I’m not going to be away for a week because of a guy. You know me.
Chris: Karen’s with me. We’re all concerned.
Frauke: Are mum and dad there too?
Chris: They were here.
Frauke: Tell them I love them so much.
Chris: When are you coming home?
Frauke: I do not know.
Chris: Why didn’t you come even though you said you would come back today?
Frauke: I’ll clarify to you later.
Chris: Should I pick you up?
Frauke: No, you can’t do that.
Chris: Can we meet somewhere?
Frauke: It’s not possible.
Chris: Where are you?
Chris: When will you get in touch (again)?
Frauke: I do not know yet.
Chris: Call in at least once a day.
Frauke: I did the other days too.
Chris: I was very unhappy that you didn’t call me yesterday.
Frauke: Yeah, I know you were very unhappy … give me Karen, please.
Chris hands the phone to Karen:
Frauke: Please don’t question me!
Karen: Are you afraid of coming home?
Karen: We’ll clear the apartment too, and no one will inquire you what happened. Come back.
Frauke: That doesn’t work, I’m still alive!
Karen: Are you with one or more people?
Frauke: Please don’t inquire me. I would like to be with you. I would like to go home.
Chris takes the cell phone from Karen:
Chris: Call me at least once a day.
Frauke: Yes, I will. Ciao. See you soon.
This is the last contact from Frauke.
3.5 months later, on October 4, Frauke’s corpse was discovered by a hunter near Lichtenau (20km Southeast of Paderborn center). Her corpse lay heavily decayed and skeletonized in a wooded region 20 meters from the road, in a hollow under a tree trunk. Forensic investigations indicated that Frauke was murdered in a different location before being shifted there. Nearby, there were no tire tracks, fingerprints, or DNA traces.
Frauke’s corpse was found with her clothes (blue jeans, red top, and white sneakers) from the day she vanished. Her cell phone and black purse, wallet, and watch were not discovered. Due to the advanced skeletonization of the body, neither the precise time of death nor the reason for death could be conclusively assumed.
Search for answers
The police pursued 700 tips and questioned 1000 people. Specialists assumed that Frauke had possibly been held in the Nieheim region and had been brought to Paderborn by the perpetrator, who was possibly knowledgeable with the region, only for the calls he was monitoring. Investigators believe the calls were just serving as a distraction.
A probably connected case?
In April 2016, an identical case was uncovered. Wilfried and his ex-wife Angelika held captive 41-year-old Susanne in Bosseborn (50km east of Paderborn), where she was heavily abused. The couple was taking Susanne in the car when the car broke down. Panicking, the pair called an ambulance because of Susanne’s bad health, she died in hospital. The autopsy discovered blunt violence against the victim’s skull, and the pair were arrested.
Investigating the home of Wilfried and Angelika, police discovered another victim. 33-year-old Annika from Dinkelhausen (80 km east of Paderborn) in the home in 2014. Then, a woman from Berlin (400km from Paderborn) reported that she was held captive in the home from 2011-2012. Finally, around 61 victims were recognized (not all abused physically, some got financially extorted).
Why is this case related to Frauke’s case? Bosseborn, where this case took place, is just 20km from Nieheim, the place where Frauke was thought to be held. Wilfried’s cell phone was spotted at similar locations to Frauke’s cell phone when Frauke made her phone calls. Wilfried also rented motorhomes, which could have been utilized to transport Frauke from place to place, without Frauke realizing her location.
Police never spotted any connections between the two cases.
It is generally agreed that Frauke was being held captive during her disappearance. But by whom? And for what intention? This is still unknown.