The weekend in Oldenburg starts with good news: missing eight-year-old Joe is alive. After eight days, he is found in the municipal sewage system. But many questions remain.
After eight days of searching, news of redemption came Saturday morning that a missing boy was found alive in a ravine: “!! !! 8-year-old #Joe is alive !!!!! ”the police wrote on Twitter. in Oldenburg in the morning.
Numerous exclamation points express what not only officials but the whole city and many people in Germany feel: “We are so happy – really!” Police spokesman Stephan Klatte said. The news spread quickly on social media.
A walker in an estate in the Donnerschwee district at around 6:20 heard a soft whine coming from the hatch and informed the police, fire brigade and emergency services about it. When they opened the heavy lid, they found a little boy. The mentally handicapped child was found just a few hundred meters from the parents’ home. He was last seen in this part of the city, in the former barracks.
Search across the region
However, in the past few days, a search has also been carried out in the neighboring neighborhood of Ammerland after witnesses saw a boy in a strawberry field near a mental hospital just outside Bad Zwischenahn. The police have not ruled out that Joe understands the search as a game of hide and seek. So she also opened old clothes containers in Oldenburg – maybe Joe crawled into them.
The search touched the entire region. Volunteers wandered around the city, the officers were supported by a volunteer fire brigade. Companies and associations shared searches.
The question is where the mentally handicapped eight-year-old Joe could have gone to occupied people all over Germany. The images that circulated showed the curly hair of a child beaming happily in front of the camera. But the longer the futile search lasted, the greater the fear that he might not be found alive. The police also investigated the possibility of a violent crime. Following the witness’s testimony, a murder commission was set up.
Joe was taken to the hospital
So the relief in a happy ending is all the greater. Joe was untouched on the outside when the police freed him from the ravine, Klatte said. “But he was clearly hypothermic due to a cooler night.” He was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment and examination.
The fact that Joe was finally found doesn’t mean the police have closed their investigations. Many questions still remain, the most important of which is how did Joe get down the hatch?
Even a strong adult cannot easily lift an extremely heavy lid. It is conceivable that the child climbed into the tunnel labyrinth at a different point in the branched canal system and crawled through the pipes, a police spokesman said.
“Some sewer pipes are so narrow that no adult can get through them,” said Klatte. Now investigators want to use cameras to find clues in the sewer system to understand the path Joe may have taken. But another possible explanation that a crime was committed has yet to be made by the police, Klatte said. So you can imagine that someone intentionally placed Joe in the hatch. “We will continue to look to this option,” said a police spokesman. (dpa)