At 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 13, a girl named Anneli-Marie left her home in Meissen, a picturesque town that straddles the Elbe River just outside of Dresden, Germany. The 17-year-old, who reports refer to only as Anneli-Marie R. because of German privacy laws, was the daughter of a wealthy German industrialist. As she left her home, she took her bike to give her beloved dog some evening exercise, as she often did. But that evening, she never returned. Anneli-Marie was abducted shortly after she left her home. Half an hour after the abduction, her parents received a call from the girl’s cell phone telling them she had been kidnapped and demanding a 1 million-euro (1.14 million-dollar) ransom. During the call, Anneli-Marie’s father could hear her screaming for help in the background — the last proof of life the family received. After the call, her father conducted a frantic search of the neighborhood and found her bicycle and dog abandoned at the abduction site.
The kidnappers called the parents a second time on Aug. 14, demanding the ransom money be wired to a particular foreign bank account by a specified deadline. When the parents could not complete the transaction before the deadline, the kidnappers broke contact. German police later noted that the transaction simply could not have been conducted in the limited time demanded by the kidnappers.
“Lessons From a Tragic Kidnapping in Germany is republished with permission of Stratfor.”