June 15, 2024

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Till R.: A missing teenager explains his years of escape


DeutschlandDisappeared for 7 years: Till now (21) tells why he ran away

R. has been missing for seven years. In the end, he contacted his family again and spoke openly about the reasons behind his disappearance and the period after that.

Karin Ludold
  • R., who has been missing since 2017, has reconnected with his family after seven years.

  • As a teenager, he ran away from home due to bullying and lived briefly on the streets.

  • After his case was published in “Aktenzeichen XY”, he decided to return to his family.

R. from the German town of Neustadt an der Eich, who has been missing for almost seven years. On Tuesday, police in central Franconia confirmed that the 21-year-old had resumed contact with his family a few weeks ago. Missing since September 2017 and her case was even featured in the show “Aktenzeichen XY”. But after seven years on the run, he suddenly realized: he wanted to return to his family.

In an interview with Bild newspaper, Till reveals why he ran away from home at the age of 15 and what he has been up to in recent years. On September 17, 2017, he traveled by train to Lincoln in Emsland (Lower Saxony) without parental permission to visit an online gaming debutant. Disregarding the youth welfare office return ticket, he disappeared down the road.

Bullying because he is “too fat”.

Until describing her decision to say she was bullied at school “because I was too fat”. “I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I never told my parents and brothers what was going on. Instead, he confided in the youth welfare office. He didn’t get any help: “They weren’t particularly friendly and didn’t take my problem seriously. I stayed home until the bullying stopped at my school. I told them I would not return.”

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During a train journey he suddenly landed in Düsseldorf. “I was afraid to go home. But I was even more afraid of school. I constantly had a bad feeling on the train. During the first week, Till hung around the train station and downtown Düsseldorf and slept on the streets.

Dusseldorf to Berlin

In mid-October 2017, a school friend called and said he was fine. He tells “Build”: “Over time, I slowly got to know people on the street, including two homeless people who I became friends with. We kept ourselves afloat in warehouse work. We lived in an abandoned, run-down hall in an industrial area. There were three of us and we shared what we had. This went on for about a year.”

When the trio became unemployed, they traveled to Berlin. Despite the distance, Till lived in constant fear of being discovered. “None of the three of us have ever owned a cell phone.” Everything changed when he learned that in the summer of 2022 his photo would be published in “Aktenzeichen XY” and a reward would be offered for information on his whereabouts. “It was a boon! Suddenly I felt like fair game. One of my two friends was beaten to reveal my whereabouts. But he kept it tight,” said the 21-year-old.

But slowly he realized that he wanted to go home. On April 21, he sent a message to his father from a borrowed cell phone.

Till today R. Sitting in the garden with his parents. It seems that everything has never been different. “I enjoy peace and quiet here,” says the son.

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