Bulgaria LARS MITTANK: Missing from Varna, Bulgaria - 8 July 2014 - Age 28


On June 30, 2014, 28-year-old Mittank traveled with five of his friends to Varna, Bulgaria. It was his first journey outside of Germany. The group vacationed at the Golden Sands, a seaside resort just outside of the city of Varna. "The week went by really fast," said Paul Rohmann, one of Mittank’s friends, in 2016 on German television. "We relaxed on the beach, swam in the pool, played football, went clubbing. He was relaxed. He was in a good mood." Another friend, Tim Schuldt, said that Mittank did not eat much, and that he would have only a small bowl of soup or a small salad at a time. His friends reported no additional abnormal behavior by Mittank until the final part of the trip.

On July 6, 2014, the day before they were supposed to return home, Mittank and friends were at a bar in town, and Mittank got into a disagreement with some other German nationals over football. Mittank, a fan of the football club Werder Bremen, had differences with fans of Bayern Munich. He then parted from his friends outside a restaurant after leaving the bar, and disappeared for the rest of the night. Mittank turned up at the resort the following morning and told his friends he was beaten up by four men hired by the group in the bar whom he disagreed with the night before. The fight resulted in Mittank suffering an injured jaw and a ruptured ear drum. He went and saw a doctor who advised him not to fly due to his injury,[4] and prescribed the antibiotic Cefprozil (500 mg). Mittank's friends wanted to stay with him, but he insisted he was fine on his own, and told them to follow the original travel plan and fly home on July 7, which they did.

Mittank checked out of the resort the same time as his friends, and checked into the Hotel Color Varna for one night. The hotel was cheap and close to the airport. However, a day after his friends left, he began to act paranoid. While at the hotel, Mittank called his mother, Sandra Mittank. In a whisper, he told her that people were trying to kill or rob him and that she should cancel his credit cards. The closed-circuit television security cameras in the hotel recorded him pacing up and down the halls, looking out windows, and hiding in an elevator. At 1 A.M., he left the hotel before returning about an hour later. It is not known what he did in the intervening period. In the morning, he once again called his mother, telling her that the people pursuing him were getting closer.

Mittank was last seen at Varna Airport on July 8, 2014, the day he was hoping to fly home to Germany. He texted his mother that he had arrived at the airport. He went to consult with the airport doctor, Dr. Kosta Kostov. Kostov would later describe his behavior as "nervous and erratic." According to Kostov, he told Mittank that he was fine and could return home. However, Mittank did not leave his office, expressing doubt about the medication that he was taking. At that time, a construction worker entered the office. The airport was undergoing renovation at the time. Kostov said that Mittank then began to tremble. He yelled, "I don't want to die here. I have to get out of here." He then got up and fled the office. He left behind all of his luggage, which included his wallet, cell phone, and passport. He was captured by airport security cameras fleeing the terminal. Once outside, he can be seen on the footage jogging away from the airport, climbing a fence, running into a meadow, and sprinting off camera in the direction of an adjacent forest near Bulgarian national highway A2. These are his last confirmed whereabouts.

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