DThe murder charge in the case of the disappearance of a pregnant woman in Nuremberg sounds like something out of a crime novel: two men allegedly received mobile phones and cars without navigation devices in exchange for the crime, not to leave a digital one. watch. They allegedly made the body disappear after the murder and set a false trail. They wanted to give the impression that the 39-year-old man had fled abroad.

But investigators are confident they have discovered the woman's ex-partner and his companion. From their perspective, the evidence points to murder—even if the body has yet to be found. Starting Tuesday, the 50-year-old from Bosnia-Herzegovina and the 48-year-old German will face charges of murder, hostage-taking, fraud and other crimes at the Nuremberg District Court.

The defendants remain silent

A 50-year-old man comes to the courtroom wearing a dark suit and light blue tie. The victim's ex-partner hides his face behind sunglasses, a mask and a file folder. The co-defendant wears a white shirt and glasses and does not hide his face from the cameras of many journalists.

The men seem to be calmly listening to the indictment detailing the two's elaborate plan and the course of the crime. The 50-year-old always frowns. When Senior Prosecutor Alexandra Hussennether brings up the victim's financial situation, she laughs briefly. But the two defendants remained silent on the charges in court that day.

A life of luxury was lived at the expense of the victim

According to the prosecutor, the motive for the murder was the property of the manager of the bank office. Her partner at the time – already convicted of white-collar crimes and unemployed at the time – allegedly used her money to make real estate deals that went through another defendant. According to the prosecution, this allowed the two to live a luxurious life with expensive cars.

Over time, however, more and more disputes arose over financial transactions, and she felt she was being taken advantage of, Hussennether says. According to the woman, they were a couple for 15 years, took care of their stepdaughter together, and yet he was engaged to another woman all the time, which the future victim probably did not know.

The missing woman was eight months pregnant

In March 2022, a senior bank employee broke up with his partner and blocked his access to her accounts. As a result, the business foundation of the two defendants disappeared, says Hussennether. Allegedly, they tried together to get her property through a scam. It referred to men.

The trial over the scam was due to take place in December. But a few days earlier, the woman disappeared after taking her stepdaughter to daycare. At the time, the 39-year-old woman was eight months pregnant with her new partner.

The State Prosecutor's Office assumes that the two defendants followed the woman that day, ran her over and took her to a warehouse. They then allegedly forced him to write a letter withdrawing the ads. The judge received it a few days later. Allegedly, the men then killed the woman there or in the forest of Highway 8 in Upper Bavaria – and with it her unborn child. “They took the body to a previously unknown location,” Hussennether says.

Detailed collection of evidence

To prove all this to the two men, investigators collected hundreds of traces and clues in several European countries. 100 witnesses and ten experts are expected to testify in the proceedings, the panel has set a total of 37 procedural days for the complex indirect evidence process.

Co-plaintiff Harald Straßner doubts whether all the questions about the 39-year-old's death can be answered despite the extensive evidence. But he is confident that it will be enough to convict the two accused. “It was very well investigated,” says the lawyer representing the victim's parents and brother at the trial. “Every stone necessary for such a research result has actually been turned over.”

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