The body of a man identified as Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found on a high-speed train line in the town of Hochheim between Frankfurt and Mainz, police confirmed Saturday.
The presence of a body on the tracks was first reported by witnesses to paramedics, who were unable to initially identify the remains due to the extent of the injuries.
Investigators said an investigation on the scene confirmed the identity of the man as Schäfer and that the death was likely a suicide. Police did not immediately release further details of the case.
According to media in the state of Hesse, the 54-year-old regularly appeared in public in recent days, for example, to inform the public about financial assistance during the coronavirus crisis. Schäfer had been finance minister of Hesse for almost 10 years
The state premier of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, said in a statement Saturday that the state’s leadership has received the news with “sadness and disbelief.”
“We are all shocked and can hardly believe” that Schäfer died so “suddenly and unexpectedly,” Bouffier said, adding: “Our sincere condolences go to his closest relatives.”
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