German man found alive in Switzerland, 18 years after his supposed death

German man found alive in Switzerland, 18 years after his supposed death

For decades, the idea of “escaping to Switzerland” has been a long-used trope in both history and cinema. However, one person has recently taken the idea to the extreme: Swiss police have confirmed that a German citizen, presumed dead for 18 years, is actually alive and well and living in Canton Schwyz.

Man from Germany had been missing since 2004

According to the Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten, the man’s wife had originally reported him missing 18 years ago. The pair had recently emigrated to Spain and had started a new business selling cars, but trouble started after the man said that he had to return to Munich on a business trip. Sometime later, the man was reported missing.

After an extensive search by German police, which led them to within 100 metres of the Swiss border in Konstanz, the authorities called off the search. At the time, the emergency services said that their evidence suggested a suicide or violent crime and that therefore, they presumed the man to be dead.

German man has no intention of reuniting with family

Now, in what can only be described as a twist of fate, police in Canton Schwyz came across a holder of a Swiss residence permit who matched the name and identity of the missing German. A special “cold case” cell was soon launched in collaboration with German and Spanish police in order to identify the person. Now, according to a spokesperson from police in the Swiss canton, they have their man.

It turns out that the man has been living and working in Switzerland ever since his disappearance, and that he has no intention of reuniting with his family. Despite using police resources to find the individual, the German commissioner in charge of the investigation told 20 Minuten that “if someone leaves their old life behind, it doesn't concern us, it's private and we don't ask questions”, so he was free to go.  All the man asked is that the police inform his wife that he is not, in fact, dead.

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer



Leave a comment