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Soldier May Have Fled to East Germany, Says Defense Ministry

January 16, 1986

BONN, West Germany (AP) _ A missing West German soldier may have fled to communist East Germany, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

But ministry spokesman Ulrich Hundt said Wednesday that the reason behind the disappearance of the 26-year-old non-commissioned officer may have been debts, and that it was not believed he was a spy.

Hundt said the soldier, whom he would not identify, disappeared along with his wife Dec. 27. The serviceman was assigned to an engineer battalion based near Munich.

Hundt confirmed reports that the soldier and his wife had large debts. Asked about reports that the soldier had fled to East Germany, Hundt said it was ″too early to speculate.″

Hundt added that neither the soldier nor his wife had a high security clearance nor extensive access to secret military information.

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