It's been three years since Rebecca R. disappeared.

The case of the then 15-year-old Berlin student moved the public for a long time.

A feverish search was made for her for weeks.

Police believe the girl was the victim of a violent crime.

Hundreds of police officers combed a large forest area south-east of Berlin to find Rebecca's body.

Tracking dogs were used, boats and divers searched lakes.

The police received around 2,000 tips.

But she hasn't progressed in recent years.

To this day there is no trace.

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

Rebecca disappeared on the morning of February 18, 2019. She had stayed with her older sister in the Britz district of Berlin-Neukölln, where she slept in the living room.

The sister went to work early, her husband, the chef Florian R., only returned early in the morning after a company party.

When the mother called her daughter shortly after seven o'clock because Rebecca often overslept, the girl didn't answer the phone.

The mother called her son-in-law more than an hour later.

He pushed the first call away, on the second call he said Rebecca had already left the house to go to school.

But she never made it to school.

The family reported her missing later this afternoon.

Questions about brother-in-law Florian R.

The police only released the manhunt after a few days.

It is not uncommon for teenagers to disappear and reappear after a short time.

Police technicians then searched Rebecca's sister's home but found no clues as to what had happened.

Suspicion fell on the brother-in-law, who must have been alone in the house with Rebecca on the morning of the disappearance.

Florian R. claims to have slept that morning, but the police determined that he was surfing the Internet.

Rebecca's cell phone data indicates that she has not left the house.

The fact that the family car, a red Renault Twingo, was caught on the autobahn between Berlin and Poland in the morning of February 18 and late in the evening the following day increased the suspicion against Florian R.

Although he was the only one who had access to the car at the time, he didn't want to explain what he was doing there.

The police arrested Florian R. three weeks after Rebecca's disappearance.

But she soon had to release him because she couldn't prove anything against him.

Fibers from a blanket were found in the car, but they had disappeared.

The then 27-year-old brother-in-law denies having anything to do with the case.

Rebecca R.'s family supports him, her parents and sister do not believe in his perpetration.

A witness reported of a man who came out of the forest on the day of the disappearance, kept looking around and quickly disappeared when he noticed that he was being watched.

She also told the journalists of a podcast about the Rebecca case.

The statement by the witness was not new to the police.

A car that was the same color as the car the brother-in-law was driving was also seen in a wooded area south of the highway on the same day.

Homicide and prosecutors assume that Rebecca never left her sister's house alive.

For them, the brother-in-law is the alleged perpetrator.

But to this day there is no evidence.

There is no statute of limitations on murder, and missing persons cases are not simply shelved.

The public prosecutor's office therefore does not want to speak of a "cold case", the investigations are ongoing, it is said.

But the investigators lack a new approach.