Body of German man found after 32 years in Swiss mountains

Body of German man found after 32 years in Swiss mountains

A group of mountaineers recently discovered a body while touring a glacier in the Swiss mountains. The body was identified as a German hiker who went missing 32 years ago while trekking in the Alps.

Missing man found dead after 32 years

The body of a German man has been found near the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Mountaineer Luc Lechanoine told The Switzerland Times how he and another climber spotted coloured items on a stone while on a tour of the Stockji Glacier. "It was clear to us that these things do not have a natural origin. So, we decided to take a closer look at these items. So, we went down, also to find out if there was still someone there and if we could help them," Lechanoine said.

The two climbers found the man’s body near the equipment. Lechanoine said that the body was mummified and slightly damaged although “still complete”. The climbers then returned to Zermatt, where they gave the police the exact location of the body and a photo. The body was then brought down from the glacier.

Swiss police said the body was revealed due to the glacier shrinking over the past few years.

Body identified as missing man from Germany

The body has been identified as Thomas Flamm, who went missing in August 1990 after hiking alone for several days in the Swiss Alps. Flamm, who was 27 years old at the time and hailed from the German town of Nürtingen in Baden-Württemberg, had begun his multi-day mountain tour at the resort town of Chamonix in France, located at the base of Mont Blanc. Flamm had planned to meet a friend in Domodossola, Italy, but never arrived at his destination.

Flamm, according to local newspaper Der Nürtinger Zeitung, had sent two letters just before his disappearance; one to his grandmother and one to his mother. The letter to his grandmother was dated July 29, 1990, and recounted his hike around Mont Blanc. The letter to his mother was dated August 1, three days before she reported him missing.

How Flamm died is still a mystery that will probably never be solved. It was reported that, at the time he went missing, Flamm had good equipment and was an experienced climber. However, a group of hikers from the German Alpine Club, who had been in the same area at the time of Flamm’s disappearance, did report that the glaciers were “as soft as butter” according to Der Nürtinger Zeitung.

Death ruled an accident

The local newspaper also reported that a search for Flamm was conducted jointly by both Swiss and Italian authorities. All known campsites were searched, while a helicopter was also dispatched to search for the missing German. By the end of 1990, authorities had given up the search.

"It was clearly an accident," said police spokesperson Andrea Kopp, after DNA evidence confirmed Flamm's identity. "Our investigation is closed."

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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