German walker finds body of kidnapped woman

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A corpse found in woodland was identified yesterday as a banker's wife who was kidnapped more than three weeks ago, police sources said.

A post-mortem examination of the body led officers to believe it was that of Maria Boegerl. A man walking his dog found the remains, which had been covered with branches, not far from where Mrs Boegerl's mobile phone was found. The 54-year-old was kidnapped from her home on 12 May.

Using her mobile, she told her husband Thomas Boegerl, the chief executive of the Sparkasse bank in the town of Heidenheim, south-west Germany, that the kidnappers were threatening to kill her. An hour later, he was contacted with a ransom demand of €300,000 (£250,000). The money, marked with a German flag, was placed at the side of a motorway but was never picked up.