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German Green politician found dead near Rhine in suspected suicide

Police say a body found near the Rhine in southern Germany is “very likely” that of Green politician Wolfgang Raufelder. Evidence so far points to a suicide.

A body found near the Rhine close to the southern German city of Mannheim on Monday morning was “in all probability” that of Green politician Wolfgang Raufelder, police say.

The body, which was burning when it was discovered by a passerby, was found near a car belonging to the politician,  according the mass-circulation “Bild” newspaper.

Although a DNA analysis had yet to be carried out, police said on Monday afternoon that they were certain that the dead man was Raufelder, 59, a member of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg.

Police said there was no indication of any crime, and that they currently assumed that Raufelder had taken his own life.

‘Respected by all’

The premier of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, also from the Green party, expressed deep sadness at the news of Raufelder’s death.

“I am shocked. We are all very sad. Wolfgang Raufelder was a calm, cool-headed politician who was respected by all parties,” he said.

Raufelder’s death was “a complete surprise,” according to Mannheim mayor Peter Kurz.

Raufelder, who leaves a wife and two children, had been active as a politician at the state level since 2011, winning a parliamentary seat in his Mannheim electorate five years ago. He was particularly involved in the field of transport and environmental policy.

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