Dhe July 5, 1984 was a Thursday. Early that evening, walkers found the body of a 13-year-old boy near Ehrenbach, a small district of Idstein about five kilometers west of the city. FAZ reported at the time that the dead child was lying in a ditch at Kreisstraße 707 with four stab wounds on his back that could have been from a knife. His chin was also injured, and police found additional injuries on his hands, which indicated that the boy tried to fend off the attack. Markus Marker, as he was identified, was fully clothed.

Witnesses who found him noticed an Opel Kadett driving away at high speed. Was the criminal sitting there? Or a witness? Wiesbaden's criminal police are convinced that it must have been one of them. Investigators, who are now re-examining the case after 40 years, speculate that Markus Marker may have been traveling in a car because he was seen in Idstein shortly before his body was found – he could not have arrived so quickly. Ehrenbach in another way. The boy was accommodated in the Kalmenhof Youth Home in Idstein, his family lived in Wiesbaden, and according to the police, he often hitchhiked to the state capital. Was it the same on July 5, 1984?

Mark Marker

Mark Marker

Image: West Hessen Police Headquarters

Police put an “incredible amount of work into the case”, a spokesman for the Crime Squad said. Officials checked 150 people believed to be Opel Kadett owners. He does not provide information about individual tracks, and is not currently providing details about the murder weapon, which has never been found. But over the years, he says, DNA has been repeatedly taken from existing materials to find new clues using currently available forensic techniques. This was done in 2015 and again recently.

On Wednesday, the police and the prosecutor's office went public. They put up wanted posters and distributed flyers around Idstein and went to shops in the town and set up information stands. On Friday, two banners will be hung at the crime scene: “Who saw me?”, with a photo of Markus Marker. They hope that conversations between neighbors, families and acquaintances will start and new information will emerge: the criminal, about the boy's whereabouts on the day of the crime and his contacts, Opel Kadett owners from Idstein and the surrounding area, and so on, someone who drove quickly around Ehrenbach on the night of the crime. In the next program “Aktenzeichen xy” on April 17, they will also present a so-called cold case and ask for information so that 40 years later there is still a chance to solve it.

“Time is running out,” says the spokesperson, “if not now, when?” The public prosecutor's office in Wiesbaden has offered a reward of up to 5,000 euros for information leading to the identification of the criminal. BKA has also posted information about the search on its website. The crime is being investigated by the K11 task force, which is responsible for capital crimes. Hesse has around 300 unsolved murders and missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s. For several years, there has been a nationwide concept for processing such cases, and the State Criminal Police Office has a kind of controlling function. The public prosecutor's office in Giessen has its own expertise.

Again and again it is possible to clear up crimes that happened a long time ago. Most recently, at the end of 2023, the Darmstadt District Court sentenced a man who, according to judges, raped and killed 15-year-old Jutta in southern Hesse in 1986 to life in prison.