The woman, Petra Pazsitka, from the northern German city of Braunschweig, was 24 years old when she was last seen in 1980. A man later confessed to killing her.
Now she is 55 and living as Mrs Schneider in Düsseldorf. Two weeks ago her home was burgled and she called police who discovered her true identity.
A police spokesman: “It is indeed the missing-presumed-dead woman. She said she lived in different cities under a false name. She never had a new identity card.”But her original one was found in the flat by detectives investigating the break-in. She eventually confessed to living a lie for the past 31 years.
Petra had gone missing after she visited a Dentist on 26 July 1984. She had left the place at 3.00pm to take the bus to her parents in nearby Wolfsburg, according to a friend but she never arrived.
And because a year earlier, a 14-year-old girl had been murdered close to the stop where she was supposed to catch the bus, the police believed the killer had struck again.
Petra even featured on a German Crimewatch show called ‘Case Files XY....Unsolved’ but no-one had any info to help locate her.
At the end of March 1985 Günter K.,a 19 year old carpenter’s apprentice was arrested and confessed to the murder of the teenager. In 1987 he also admitted to killing Petra. So the authorities declared dead by the authorities.
Since the discovery, she has refused to talk about her disappearance, only telling police that she wanted “nothing more to do” with her family.