The German teenager found at Dingli Cliffs days after disappearing while holidaying in Malta had suffered no fractures, this newspaper has learnt.
This, together with the fact that some personal belongings remain missing and that the bicycle found next to the corpse had no damage, continues to baffle police investigators.
Sources have told the Times of Malta that, notwithstanding such “mysterious” circumstances, the case was still not being considered as a homicide because other circumstantial evidence did not indicate any foul play.
The sources pointed out, however, that the fact that Mike Mansholt, 17, had no broken bones had all but excluded the possibility of a fall from a height.
When he was found on July 26, more than a week after being reported missing, Mr Mansholt was not wearing his running shoes and his rented bicycle was a few metres away. It was immediately noted that the damage on the bicycle was not compatible with a fall from a height.
The autopsy had concluded that Mr Mansholt had been dead for between seven and eight days. The cause of death, however, had not been established and it was decided to conduct toxicology tests. It is still unknown whether the results have arrived or, if so, what was established.
The teenager’s corpse was flown to Germany a fortnight ago, having been released for burial after DNA results confirmed that the decomposed body belonged to Mr Mansholt.
Investigators have stopped searching for Mr Mansholt’s belongings, particularly his backpack, which did not mean the case was closed, the sources noted.
The fact that he had no broken bones had all but excluded the possibility of a fall from a height
According to relatives, the backpack contained his mobile phone and GoPro sports camera, among other things, which remain missing too.
Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that Mr Mansholt was exploring the cliff edge with his rented bicycle when he fell over and, although surviving the fall itself, could have lacked the energy to climb up again. The scorching sun and lack of water could have accelerated his death.
Investigators were still awaiting reports from the various experts to be able to try to put together the jigsaw puzzle and better understand the mysterious circumstances surrounding the teen’s death.
The young adventurer and climber had arrived on July 8 and was reported missing when he failed to return home. His girlfriend, Antonia, was with him for the first part of the holiday but went back home first.