Suicide body hidden in tree for 29 years

METRO April 7 2009

By Jo Steele

“When Paul Ludwig committed suicide, he did not want his distressed family to find his body.

Suffering from cancer, he left a note at home saying: ‘Don’t look for me – you won’t find me.’

The 69-year-old then climbed a tree, tied himself to it and shot himself with a rifle, which he’d lashed to his body to stop it falling to the ground.

And there he stayed, undiscovered, for 29 years. Then, Sebastian Gunther and Stefanie Bauer, both 20, were taking a romantic stroll in a forest when they spotted a bone in the bushes and notified the police.

‘once in the woods, they also found a hip fitted with two artificial joints – so we knew it was human remains,’ said Mr Gunther. When officers looked up they saw the skeleton nearly 12m (40ft) above them in a fir tree in Bruckberg, southern Germany.

‘With two artificial hips, I have no idea how he managed to climb up the tree. It wasn’t so high, I guess, 30 years ago,’ said Mr Ludwig’s nephew, Klaus Kiefl, 39. Bavarian police believe the ropes got tighter as the tree grew and eventually severed the arm and leg bones, which fell to the ground.

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