Lichtenberg (dpa) - Even after 20 years it is unclear who killed the girl Peggy from Lichtenberg in Upper Franconia.

In the meantime, the public prosecutor in Bayreuth has officially closed the files.

However, it is not hopeless that the perpetrator will still be convicted.

The end of the investigation is provisional, because murder does not expire, said the renowned criminologist and psychologist Rudolf Egg.

So there is still hope that the person responsible for the girl's death will still be determined: "Even if so many years pass, murder remains murder."

In the Peggy case there was also the fact that for years it was believed that a perpetrator had been found and convicted.

However, the mentally handicapped man was later acquitted in a retrial for lack of evidence.

"This rollercoaster of emotions for family, neighbors and friends can hardly be topped," said the former director of the Criminological Central Office in Wiesbaden.

In his professional career, he has seen time and again that the bereaved in the so-called cold cases are not about revenge or satisfaction if the case is cleared up after years.

But you know who is responsible.

That doesn't mean an end, but a new form of mourning.


In Egg's experience, it is not very likely that in an old case a perpetrator will report and confess even after many years. It is more likely that witnesses or confidants get a guilty conscience. The perpetrator, on the other hand, often develops "his own view of things" in order to make the crime appear less serious. «You can live with that. He has his own story, his own view of the act. Then the conscience is not so depressed. "

"Cold cases" are always cleared up. After all, forensic technology has evolved over the past few decades. The resolution rate for murder cases in Germany is 95 to 96 percent. But with 500 murders a year, this means around 25 cases a year that are not cleared up. “It's worth taking another look. This is the greatest challenge for criminology. " Because solving murder cases is usually "not that difficult" - and thus different from what is often presented in crime novels. A main suspect is usually determined quickly, "often after less than 24 hours". It is all the more exciting to focus on cases where nothing new has been found for years.

On May 7, 2001, the then nine-year-old student Peggy disappeared in the Hof district.

Her body was not found until 15 years later, and there is still no accused or convicted perpetrator.


© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210506-99-490229 / 2

Press release from the Bayreuth public prosecutor's office on the termination of the investigation from October 2020