MUNICH. – Police have asked for help identifying a child, believed to be aged five to six, whose body was found in a river in Germany more than a year ago.
The boy’s body was discovered in May 2022 in the state of Bavaria.
International police agency Interpol said it had published details of the case in hopes of finding the boy’s name and determining “the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death”.
“Someone, somewhere knows something about this boy,” it said.
“Whether he was the victim of trafficking, abduction or violence,” Interpol secretary-general Jurgen Stock said the group was determined to “shed light on his death”.
It is the first time Interpol has gone public with a so-called black notice, seeking information about an unidentified body, for a child.
It marks a widening of a landmark campaign the organisation launched in May, dubbed Operation Identify Me, which sought information about 22 women murdered in Europe whose identities have never been discovered.
The black notices released as part of the campaign are normally only circulated internally among Interpol’s network of police forces throughout the world.
Interpol said the boy’s body was found wrapped in foil in the River Danube, weighed down with a flagstone slab on 19 May 2022. As part of the black notice, they have published a reconstruction of his face.
Interpol told the BBC it was “unusual to have a child’s body go unidentified for this long”, and said this suggested he may have come from another country.
Members of the public have been urged to contact German police with information.
Since Operation Identify Me was launched in May, police have received more than 500 tip-offs about unidentified women murdered in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
This includes possible names of victims, and potential leads about clothing and jewellery the women were wearing.
The campaign was sparked by the unsolved murder of a woman in Amsterdam, whose body found in a wheelie bin in a river in 1999. – BBC.