Friedrich Schmidbauer (Name changed) had already given up the belief that the Sabine B. case is still being investigated. An unsolved case of murder of a girl 27 years ago, as the hope for groundbreaking knowledge vanished. The 13-year-old did not come home on December 15, 1993 and was found lifeless two days later in a cesspool in her home town of Wiesenfeld. The 25th anniversary two years ago had stirred up the people in the 1100-inhabitant town in the Main-Spessart district, of course. But hardly anyone had expected a large-scale operation in the murder case. Until the investigators are back with numerous emergency vehicles in the village and a neighboring community, almost like in 1993.
A 44-year-old was arrested, he is an urgent suspect. Schmidbauer plays a role in the case, as we know it from previous evening thrillers, but less from actual criminal cases. He experienced what it did to the place 27 years ago when a girl didn’t come home shortly before Christmas. When the whole town was combed through for traces of the 13-year-old who disappeared overnight, two pieces of evidence were found at a riding stables outside of Wiesenfeld: the girl’s bike and a key to the riding stables that the 13-year-old owned . Shortly afterwards, the investigators made a terrible discovery: They first found the clothes of the 13-year-olds. Then in a cesspool of the Aussiedlerhof the lifeless Sabine B. Presumably, the investigators assumed in 1993, the girl was killed on the courtyard’s floor. The investigators found traces of violence on the neck and head, and straw in the girl’s mouth; and on the cesspool there was a heavy concrete slab that was supposed to be used to hide the lifeless 13-year-old. A nightmare for investigators.
The peace came to an abrupt end in that place. The fact that the perpetrator (s) presumably had to come from the small town with the narrow houses near vineyards in Lower Franconia or a neighboring community was something that everyone insisted on, says Schmidbauer. Who else even knew the horse farm near Wiesenfeld, where the village youth and young adults met and passed the time? The investigators then targeted three suspects: a 17-year-old from the area, a 29-year-old from Wiesenfeld and a 15-year-old, also from Wiesenfeld. The suspicion against the youngest of them initially seemed to strengthen. He had become involved in contradictions, was arrested three times, had to be released three times: no urgent suspicion. In the end, the youth had to answer for murder in June 1994, but was acquitted in July 1994. And later died in a car accident.
The investigations stalled, which burdened everyone in the village, but Schmidbauer the most. The now 74-year-old former foreign fitter had no special relationship with the case, he only knew the 13-year-old by sight, a “robust, boyish” girl, they say in the village. In contrast to others, however, he, Schmidbauer, did not want to let the matter rest – “even if it was basically nothing to do with me”. He wrote to the public prosecutor’s office and to Günther Beckstein, the interior minister at the time, complaining that the police officers used in the case apparently did not belong to the first division of investigators. And he complained directly to the police. A leading officer who was considered a Franconian model criminal investigator and also played a key role in the unresolved Peggy case tried to reassure him at the time: They were his best people. It was just that they weren’t successful.
That Schmidbauer has lost his nerve several times over this, he comes to speak himself. He once grabbed a suspect by the neck, supposedly to show him what it’s like to be breathless. Schmidbauer had to answer in court. He’s not proud of it and therefore doesn’t want to read his real name in the newspaper.
As long as there is still blood in his veins, the case will keep him busy, he once told investigators. And now hopes that the case will still be solved and that peace can finally return to Wiesenfeld. DNA is tell-tale, and methods of analyzing traces have improved. Because of these traces, the investigators were now in two places in the Main-Spessart district, one of the two places led directly to one of the former three suspects, the then 17-year-old. He is “urgently suspected of having killed the girl who was four years younger at the time,” explains Chief Prosecutor Thorsten Seebach. The case files were “never closed”, says police spokesman Björn Schmitt, and profilers also dealt with the case. An investigating judge issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for suspected murder against the 44-year-old.