UM-0053

On July 5, 2016, a man kayaking in the Elbe river noticed a large metal crate floating near the riverbank. When police arrived at the scene they confirmed that the crate contained the corpse of an adult male.

The crate was determined to be an old tool box that had been mass-produced in Germany in the 1990s. There were two stickers on the inside of the crate’s lid: a logo for BETRA, the manufacturer and a logo for German radio/broadcaster DF, featuring two cartoon characters. The name ‘Albert Gluck’ was handwritten in large black letters on the side of the crate.

Police believe the man was put into the crate immediately after his death and was then transported by car to the A9, a busy highway that connects Berlin to Munich–on a bridge above the Elbe river. The crate was then removed from the vehicle by two or more people and thrown into the river below. Scratch marks on the outside of the crate, along with similar markings on the railing of the bridge, led investigators to conclude that the crate was thrown off the bridge from the side of the highway heading towards Munich.

Police suspect that a car, a dark, older-model hatchback BMW that was seen months before the murder is connected to the crime.

Investigators believe it’s possible that the victim had been a seasonal worker on an asparagus farm in Beelitz, Brandenburg, the state next to Saxony-Anhalt.

An isotope analysis found that the victim was likely from Southeastern Europe, where he had lived for roughly 35 years. He had only been in Germany for the last 6-10 years prior to his death, and had been living inland, away from the coast.

Reconstruction of victim

Large metal crate

Victim’s tattoo

  • Date found: July 5, 2016
  • Place found: Elbe, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
  • Race: Caucasian, probably Southeastern origin
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 45-60
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Weight: 75 kg
  • Eye Color: Unknown
  • Hair Color: Unknown, shaved
  • Distinguishing Marks: Prior broken nose and a distinctive “dent” in the top of skull. He had likely gotten a new tattoo on the left forearm in May 2016 with the name ‘Michaela’.
  • Estimated Date of Dead: Weeks prior
  • Clothing: Dark blue shorts made from sweat-pant material, sold by ‘C&A‘. A red circular logo on the left pant-leg reads ‘Long Beach Bay, California Summer’. Underneath the shorts, the victim was wearing a pair of reddish-orange briefs, with the images of a belt printed around the waistband and a cartoon bear peeking out from behind a zipper.
  • Jewelry: Plain gold wedding ring with the name “Michaela” inscribed on the inside.
  • Personal Items: Unknown
  • Dentals: Poor oral health. Unlikely he had ever received dental care.
  • Fingerprints: Unknown
  • DNA: Unknown
If you have any information please contact
  • Agency:  Landeskriminalamt Sachsen-Anhalt
  • Phone Number: 0049 391-250-1036
Resources

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