Hessian finance minister Thomas Schäfer is dead. The body of the 54-year-old CDU politician was discovered on an ICE route in the Main-Taunus district, according to a joint announcement by the Wiesbaden public prosecutor and the West Hesse police headquarters. Due to the overall circumstances, the extensive crime scene work, the questioning of numerous witnesses, the situation on site, as well as technical and criminological evaluations and investigations, it was assumed that the politician committed suicide.

"We are all shocked and can hardly believe that Thomas Schäfer died suddenly and unexpectedly," Hesse Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) wrote in a statement. "We all have to deal with his death now and mourn with his family. We therefore extend our sincere condolences to his closest relatives first and we wish them strength and strength for this difficult time," said Bouffier.

Schäfer has been Hesse's finance minister since August 2010. The doctor of law had been treated as a possible successor to Bouffier if he did not run again in the state elections in 2023.