Frauke Liebs was a German young woman born on February 21, 1985. She was 21 years old, a nursing student, and had always lived in Lubeck, Germany.
When the young woman decided to pursue a career in healthcare, she moved to Paderborn due to job opportunities in the region. In 2005, she shared an apartment with her best friend, Chris. The two had a romantic relationship in the past that unfortunately didn’t work out, but they decided to maintain their friendship.
Frauke was very dedicated to her studies and quite active on social media. On June 20, 2006, her mother was in town to visit her, and the two, accompanied by Chris, went out for coffee.
Chris reports that during the outing, Frauke received a text message from a friend inviting her to go to a bar that night. It was the time of the World Cup, and the bars were crowded with young fans drinking beer and watching the matches.
Her mother gave her a ride to the bar around 9 p.m. Chris didn’t have his keys, so he arranged with the roommate to use hers and stay awake to open the door when she returned.
Frauke and some friends watched the match between England and Sweden. One of them reported that she was exchanging messages with someone named “Niels” until her phone battery died.
Niels had been introduced by mutual friends. Up to that point, the two did not have a romantic relationship, but they enjoyed exchanging messages and sharing daily life topics. Frauke even asked to borrow a phone charger to ensure she wouldn’t lose contact with her friend.
Around 11 p.m., the young woman leaves the bar. She told her friends that she would go straight home and only had 5 euros in her wallet, so she would walk the 1.5 km route.
Chris stayed awake for as long as he could, but eventually fell asleep. When he woke up, he found it strange that Frauke had not returned. In the morning, he received messages from a friend of hers, saying that Frauke had not attended class and they couldn’t reach her.
Chris contacted Frauke’s mother, and they both called the local police. As usual, the police stated that they couldn’t consider it a disappearance since the girl was free to come and go, and it had not been 24 hours since her disappearance.
In the following week, Chris received strange calls and messages. The first one was on June 22, a day after the disappearance, where it seemed to be Frauke on the other end of the line saying she was okay and would be home soon. What caught Chris’s attention was that she addressed him by his full name, something she never did.
On the next day, June 23, just before midnight, Chris received a text message that said: “I’m coming home, love you.” On the same day, Frauke’s brother also managed to speak with her through a call where the young woman reiterated that she was coming home and asked her brother not to ask questions.
By this point, the police were already conducting searches for Frauke, and authorities began tracing the calls. They seemed to come from different locations; the first call came from Nieheim, which was about 20 minutes from Paderborn, the location she claimed to be.
In the afternoon of the following day, on June 24, Chris received another call where Frauke reiterated that she would be returning home today and not too late. On the next night, another call where Chris asked if she was in danger, and she said no.
The last call took place on June 27, Frauke called Chris just before midnight, and coincidentally, her sister, Karen, answered the call. During the call, she said that she could no longer come home. When Karen asked if she was being held against her will, she initially said yes but quickly corrected herself, saying no.
Frauke’s voice sounded strange, like someone who was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Chris insisted on asking where she was, and Frauke only said: “Mom, mom, mom…”
On October 4, about four months after her disappearance, a hunter found a body in a wooded area 20km from the bar where Frauke was last seen.
Despite the state of decomposition, it was possible to identify Frauke Liebs through her clothing. There was no genetic material for analysis, and it was not possible to determine the cause of her death. The police believe she may have been killed elsewhere, and her body was disposed of in that area.
Personal items such as her purse, phone, and wallet were never found. Investigators theorized that she was abducted as soon as she left the bar, and the criminals encouraged her to make calls to mislead the investigation. The motive for the murder was never determined.
Over 900 people connected to the victim were interrogated by the police, and the initial investigation produced a list of five initial suspects. All five, including Niels, were eventually cleared after providing alibis.
The case remains unsolved to this day, and its publicity continues through donations from people who were moved by the young woman’s death. In November 2022, based on an anonymous tip, the police searched two houses in Paderborn, but unfortunately, nothing was found.