Petra Pazsitka vanished without a trace 31-years-ago in the summer of 1984. Police investigating a burglary in 2015 has led to Pazsitka admitting to authorities that she meticulously planned her own disappearance. Petra will not be facing any criminal charges. Pazsitka has not yet explained why she did what she did, but she is adamant that she does not want contact with any of her family. A spokesperson for the Braunschweig and Wolfsburg Police has commented on the atypical case.
“As to the motive of her disappearance, she gave no explanation and expressly said that she continues to want no contact with the public or her family.”
The last time anyone saw Petra Pazsitka was reportedly on July 26, 1984. Petra was attending university in Germany where she was studying computer science. On the day of July 26, Petra was seen going to a dentist appointment. A friend of Pazsitka claimed that after the dentist appointment, she was going to be taking a bus to Wolfsburg, Germany in order to visit with her parents. Petra never arrived in Wolfsburg that day.
An extensive manhunt was led in order to find Petra. As the days and weeks went on, no trace of Petra could be found. Authorities began to suspect that Pazsitka may have fallen prey to foul play. Authorities got their confirmation of foul play in 1989. A man going by the name of Gunter K was arrested in 1985. Gunter was accused of raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl near the bus stop that Petra was supposed to be near in 1984. Four years later, in 1989, Gunter admitted to police that he murdered Petra Pazsitka. German authorities believed him and closed the case on the disappearance of Petra Pazsitka. Even though no sign of Petra existed, and no remains were found, Pazsitka was declared dead in 1989.
In 2015, it became obvious as to why no remains of Petra Pazsitka were ever found. It was because Petra was still alive and living as Mrs. Schneider.
Schneider called police to her residence in Düsseldorf, Germany to file a report of a burglary. Part of the investigation process was for the police to verify the identity of the person who reported the crime. Schneider did not have any identification that showed her as Schneider. It was then that she realized that her 31-year vanishing act was over. She confessed to police that she was not Schneider, but was, in fact, the woman who was “murdered” in 1984. To prove to police that she was indeed Petra Pazsitka, she provided police with an identification card that had long expired.
Petra Pazsitka explained that she had thoroughly planned her own disappearance in 1984. Pazsitka had been saving up money and renting an apartment in secret. She was able to save DEM4,000 (€20,000 today) to start her new life. Pazsitka stated that she had moved around to different cities in West Germany during the time it was thought she was dead. Pazsitka was not able to use any of her forms of identification since all the IDs she had listed her name as Petra Pazsitka. Because of this, Pazsitka was unable to acquire any official jobs. In order to get money and survive, Pazsitka only worked jobs for which she was paid in cash and did not have to divulge her name.
Police now had to inform her family that Petra Pazsitka was not dead, as was previously thought. When her mother and brother were given the news, they broke down into tears of shock and joy. Petra Pazsitka’s father had died after she was believed to be murdered. Pazsitka has stated that she wants to continue living the new life that she built for herself and that new life does not include her old family.
Now, Petra Pazsitka must go through the process of no longer being listed as dead. She must register with German authorities and get the ruling of her death overturned.
Why do you think Petra Pazsitka decided to vanish?
[Photos via Aktenzeichen XY/YouTube]