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Journalist Alexandra Föderl-Schmid

Photo: Friedrich Bungert / SZ Photo / picture alliance

Those around her and her editorial team were worried for a day and a night, but now came the redeeming news: Alexandra Föderl-Schmid, renowned journalist and deputy editor-in-chief of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", who had been missing since Thursday morning, was found alive. “SZ” boss Wolfgang Krach announced this to his editorial team.

The Upper Austria State Police Directorate confirmed to SPIEGEL that a 53-year-old woman was found alive under the Inn bridge in Braunau around eleven o'clock. The woman was taken to the hospital suffering from hypothermia. The police have not yet wanted to officially confirm the identity.

»Best day in the last 20 years«

The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” received the news with great relief. According to the editorial team, she announced the noise in tears in front of around 250 employees. This was the “most beautiful day in the last 20 years of the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’,” he said.

The news was preceded by a lengthy search operation in the Inn Valley; in the meantime, the police feared that they would no longer be able to find Föderl-Schmid alive. Numerous volunteer fire brigades from the Austrian Innviertel and Bavaria had been searching the river with boats since Thursday. Objects that could be attributed to Föderl-Schmid, including her car, were discovered near the bank.

Accusations of plagiarism from Austria

Last Monday it became known that Föderl-Schmid wanted to temporarily withdraw from the daily business of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Previously, new allegations had come to light from the Austrian plagiarism expert Stefan Weber. Accordingly, the journalist did not clearly mark sources in her dissertation.

The research was financed by the right-wing populist medium Nius, which had already commissioned a corresponding report last December, as it later turned out.