After a female body was found in a forest in Hesse, an autopsy is expected to clarify the cause of death on Friday. The police confirmed that the dead woman was a 14-year-old from Bad Emstal (Kassel district) who had been missing since Wednesday. “The autopsy of the deceased is currently underway,” said a police spokesman this morning. Third-party negligence is still not ruled out.

During the search for the teenager, the body was discovered late on Thursday afternoon in the forest near the small town of Bad Emstal. At first, the cause of death was not clear. The police spokesman said the investigators hoped that the autopsy would provide information about how the student died. It also remains unclear who found the body. He said that they would not comment on this initially for tactical reasons.

The area where the body was found was cordoned off on Thursday evening. The fire department helped to illuminate the area so that the criminal investigation department and forensics department could continue their work into the night. The investigators also used a drone. The forensic investigation was completed around 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning, the spokesman said. Only some remaining work would be carried out at the site on Friday. During the course of the day, the police and the Kassel public prosecutor’s office will report on the current status of the investigation.

The teenager left her home around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening and had disappeared since then. Relatives therefore reported her missing on Thursday night. The officers also publicly searched for the 14-year-old at times. However, the search remained fruitless – until the body was found.

Bad Emstal is a small northern Hesse community with around 6,000 residents in four districts. It is located in the Habichtswald Nature Park, around 25 minutes by car southwest of Kassel.

Note: This article has been updated.

Additional source: Police press release, follow-up report from the police.