Missing 24-year-old found alive and well 30 years after man confessed to her murder
A 24-year-old woman who went missing from her home in 1984, sparking a 31-year-long murder mystery, has been found alive and well.
Computer science student Petra Pazsitka vanished without a trace from her home in Germany three decades ago and was officially declared dead in 1989.
Her disappearance led to an extensive investigation, with nationwide appeals, searches and video reconstructions of her last known actions.
It is understood she left her student flat in Braunschweig and went to the shop and the dentist.
Friends claimed she then boarded a bus with the intention of going to visit her parents - but never arrived at their home.
A man who had previously been convicted for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in the area confessed to Petra's murder.
However, he later retracted his confession and Petra's body was never found.
Fast forward to September 11, 2015, a routine police call out to a report of a burglary solved the 'murder' mystery.
Arriving at the scene in Düsseldorf (some 200 miles from Petra's home town) a 'Mrs Schneider' revealed the curious tale under questioning.
The 55-year-old woman was in fact Petra Pazsitka and she claimed she had lived in western german under false names and without official documents since her disappearance.
"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."
Petra's case received prominence in the German media, notably the country's version of Crimecall Aktenzeichen XY…ungelöst when the investigation into her disappearance ran cold.
Her father died several years ago but her mother and brother are reportedly in shock to learn that Petra is alive and well.