The German State Finance Minister of Hesse Thomas Schafer has been found dead of an apparent suicide according to reports in Germany.
Police suspect Schafer died by suicide after his body was found on train tracks near Wiesbaden. He was the finance minister for the state of Hesse, where Germany’s Financial Center Frankfurt is headquartered.
The report reads:
The body of a man identified as Thomas Shafer, 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 on 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 identify of the man as Schafer and that the death was likely a suicide. Police did not immediately release further details on the case.
Schafer apparently left a note before taking his own life, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing souces close to the investigation. The note, according to the report, referenced Schafer’s reasons for taking the step.
According to the media in the state of Hesse, the 54-year-old regularly appeared in public in recent days, for example to inform the public of the financial assistance during the coronavirus crisis.
Schafer was widely expected to succeed state premier, Volker Bouffier, if he decided to not stand for re-election in 2023.
Bouffler said that the state’s leadership has received the news with “sadness and disbelief.”
He also said that Schafer had been worrying and under considerable stress because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid,” Bouffier said on Sunday. “For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me.”
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