3-year-old Dirk Schiller is missing.

The little boy’s last traces end on a

snow-covered field almost thirty years ago. On the morning of March 10, 1979 the parents were loading the few cucumbers they had found in a store into the trunk of their car in the parking lot of a stalactite cave in former East Germany while their two kids were playing by a frozen brook on the adjacent field.

But then their six-year-old daughter returned by herself. When the startled parents asked the girl where her three-and-a-half year old brother, Dirk, was, she turned around and said surprised, “He was right behind me…“ It was the second but last day of the family’s vacation at a holiday camp the East German authorities had assigned to the Schiller Family for February – only to postpone their stay for one month, allegedly because the holiday camp was closed in February. It was also the only moment during the two weeks of vacation when the mother had left her small boy out of her sight for ten minutes since she, having already lost two children who died from diseases, was over-protective of her remaining two kids. The toddler also had two fontanels that made him especially vulnerable (soft round spots on his head where the skull failed to close).

The small boy, who was afraid of crossing bridges, must have taken the other way over the road to get back to the parking lot. When his parents searched the whole snow-covered field, they could not find any footprints leading to the brook or the river further down. And the frozen surface of the shallow brook nearby which the children had been drawing pictures into the snow with sticks was still intact. Dirk had not drowned. He had disappeared without a trace. As of 2020, his case remains unsolved.

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