Paul’s death and the question of why

Paul's death and the question of why

It is now more than three months since a tragedy occurred in ludwigschorgast: it was the 20. July, the day little paul escaped from the daycare center and drowned in a water catchment basin on a neighbor’s property. The two-year-old’s death has shaken people in the region. A question on everyone’s mind: how did this happen??

"It is an oppressive feeling"

The teachers who looked after paul’s group and were on sick leave after the accident are back on duty, and the children who left their parents at home after the tragic incident have also returned to the daycare center after the summer vacations. Those who believe that everyday life has returned are wrong, because the question of why still torments not only the relatives of the deceased boy, but also many parents. Is someone partly responsible for the accident? Can anyone be held accountable? There are still no answers to this question, and many people can’t understand them. "We’re wondering when we’re finally going to hear about what the police investigation has turned up", says a mother who, like everyone who comes to the daycare center, is confronted with the tragedy every day. Candles, flowers, stuffed animals and little angels can still be seen outside the entrance to the daycare center, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the murder. July. "It is still an oppressive feeling", stresses the mother in an interview with our newspaper. She hopes that soon there will be certainty and that it will be clear why little paul had to die.

Will there ever be an answer?

Whether there will ever be an explanation? After the boy’s death, the investigators took a close look at the area around the daycare center. They were faced with the question of whether the two-year-old had somehow managed to climb over the fence, looking for a hole in the wire mesh fence through which paul had been able to slip through. Whether there was a violation of the traffic safety obligation, the day care center was not properly secured? A question that is still unanswered, as is the question of whether the educators who looked after the group of children around little paul violated their duty of supervision. She is being investigated on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter.

Witness testimony has been completed

In four to six weeks, the first results are expected, said senior public prosecutor martin dippold in mid-august in response to a question from the bayerische rundschau. Today, two months later, he makes it clear that the questioning of the witnesses has been completed, but no decision has been made as to whether the death will have criminal consequences. "The investigation was not easy and simply took its time," the mother emphasizes, says dippold, who expects a decision will be made next month on whether or not to file charges.

The death in mindelheim

"We are curious to see what comes out in the end", says the mother from ludwigschorgast, who this week, like many others, learned of the death of a young man in allgau, which at first glance seems to have parallels to the ludwigschorgast accident. In march, a two-year-old boy climbed through a fence and fell into a river while visiting a daycare group on a playground in mindelheim. First responders had rescued the child from the water, as in ludwigschorgast, but attempts at resuscitation failed. The boy died in a munich clinic.

Convicted of involuntary manslaughter

For the two staff members of the mindelheim facility who had looked after the group, this had criminal consequences. Because they had not sufficiently fulfilled their duty of supervision, they were sentenced to fines for involuntary manslaughter. The verdict is final after the deadline to appeal the criminal charges expired.

"A comparison is not possible"

In mindelheim, the boy went missing during an outing, in ludwigschorgast, paul escaped from the kindergarten grounds. Whether there will be a culprit here too? Alexander schmidtgall, a lawyer in kulmbach who represents the educator who was specifically responsible for paul’s care, warns against comparing the tragedies. "You can’t, because every case is different", says schmidtgall, who had warned weeks ago against pre-judgements. It remains to be seen what the investigation will reveal, whether his client or one of her colleagues can be accused of a breach of duty of care. It is also the question "whether a possible error was causal for the death of the young boy", according to the lawyer, who is unable to comment on the current state of the proceedings: "i have not yet been able to inspect the files."

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