For more than a year and a half there has been no trace of Maria G. and her daughter Tatiana from Munich.
Now the district court Munich I has sentenced the wife's husband and daughter's stepfather to a prison term of 14 years and six months for manslaughter - although the bodies of the two women were never found.
"After the evidence we are convinced that the two women are dead," said the presiding judge Norbert Riedmann on Tuesday.
And: "The chamber is convinced that the defendant killed the two women on July 13, 2019."
It was a circumstantial trial that ended with this manslaughter verdict.
The main evidence: two blood-smeared carpets from the family's apartment, which were smeared with the blood of mother and daughter and hidden in the undergrowth of the Truderinger Forest in the east of Munich.
Where investigators still suspect the bodies of mother and daughter to be somewhere.
There were traces of blood on the walls in the hallway, on the washing machine and dryer, in the underground car park, on the defendant's car, even on his socks.
He himself changed his version of events in the course of the investigation.
He told the police that the day of the disappearance was perfectly harmonious when the two women went shopping.
In court he said that after they had had lunch together peacefully, they suddenly quarreled so badly that they inflicted each other bloody injuries - before they straightened each other's hair and went shopping together.
"The suspicion arises that the statement was adapted to the results of the investigation after studying the files," said Riedmann.
Due to the two different versions, the information provided by the accused would be even more implausible than it already is.
"We hardly believe it is understandable that a harmonious lunch could lead to a dispute between the two women within less than an hour that ended with bleeding injuries," said Riedmann - and that "they would straighten each other's hair and go shopping together walk as if nothing happened ".
WhatsApp message was the daughter's last sign of life
The public prosecutor's office assumes that the now 46-year-old first killed his wife during an argument and then his stepdaughter when she got home.
A WhatsApp message to a friend from 12:02 p.m. on that day is the last sign of life for the 16-year-old.
"I'll write back to you right away," it said.
It never came to that.
In his plea, the public prosecutor therefore called for the German-Russian to be convicted of manslaughter of his mother and murder of his daughter.
The daughter had to die because she became an unpleasant witness to the crime against her mother.
Covering up a crime is considered a motive for murder.
This version also considers the court to be the most likely.
The fact that the news at 12:02 pm was Tatiana's last sign of life speaks for the fact that "her death occurred very shortly after entering the apartment," said Riedmann.
“But we also don't know how and by which way.” Doubts remained about the exact process: “We simply have too little material on how it happened.” In this case, there are still gaps: “We must acknowledge these gaps and we must acknowledge them. "
According to spokeswoman Anne Leiding, the public prosecutor's office wants to wait for the written reasons for the judgment before deciding whether to appeal the judgment.
The defense has already decided: The defendant wants to go on appeal.
He had demanded acquittal and denied the charges against him.
Regarding the assessment of the sentence, which is between five and 15 years for manslaughter, Judge Riedmann said "that he has no criminal record - otherwise we cannot think of anything".
The accused had "not killed any random victims", but "killed the closest family".