On May 22, Susanna Maria Feldman went missing. It was the day after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which celebrates G-d’s revelation of the Ten Commandments to Moses and a nation of freed slaves.
The fifth commandment is, “Honor thy father and mother.” The sixth is, “Thou shalt not murder.”
And in the German city of Mainz, whose Jewish community dates back to Roman times, a worried mother waited for the worst. Susanna had gone off with her friends. They came home. And she didn’t.
Her mother received a WhatsApp message from her daughter’s phone on the afternoon of the 22nd. “Mom, I’m not coming home. I went to Paris with my friend. Don’t look for me. I’ll come back after 2 or 3 weeks. Bye.”
According to Diana, Susanna’s mother, the message sounded nothing like her daughter. 4 hours later, the teenage girl’s phone was switched off. There was nothing more.
“I hope and pray that nothing bad has happened to her,” she posted on Facebook. “Please help me find my daughter safe again.”
The police reassured the frantic mother that her daughter had just gone off with some friends and would come back on her, but she feared the worst while the authorities stonewalled.
On June 1, she published an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel in which she wrote, “I feel abandoned by the German state.”
Two weeks passed. The police searched. Dogs sniffed around but found nothing. And then someone noticed a flash of white among all that brown and green. It was the white of a clothing label.
They found her body between the railroad tracks and Autobahn 66. The killer had stashed the girl under a bush and covered her over with twigs to keep the body out of sight and to buy him some time.