The eerie disappearance of Lars Mittank took place in July 2014 in Bulgaria. Since then, there has been no sign of Mittank, and his fate is a total mystery.
The bizarre circumstances of his disappearance and CCTV footage from the day of his disappearance have resulted in intense interest from many, with the search for Mittank still on.
In this article, we review this famous case. There is a reader’s poll at the end of the article, which we invite you to vote on – offering you the chance to vote on what you think happened.
Lars Mittank was born in 1986. A German national, Mittank lived in a town called Itzehoe. He was close with his parents, and also had a girlfriend.
At the time of his disappearance, Mittank was 28, and on holiday in Varga, Bulgaria, staying at the Golden Sands resort. He was joined in Bulgaria by five friends, with the group arriving on 30th June 2014.
The six-strong group of friends spent their time on holiday at the beach, in the swimming pool, and completed other activities. His friends reported that Mittank was in a good mood throughout, although one had noticed he was eating less than usual.
The exact sequence of events that led to Mittank’s disappearance isn’t entirely known. On 6th July, Mittank and his friends were involved in a fight with other German nationals in a row over football.
Mittank parted from his friends, and he wasn’t seen for the rest of the night. He appeared again the next morning, which is the day when he and his friends were due to fly back.
Mittank told his friends that he had been physically attacked by a group of men linked to those who he had argued with originally. Mittank saw a doctor, who found that he had injured his jaw and ruptured an eardrum. Therefore, the doctor advised Mittank to remain in Bulgaria temporarily for treatment, before flying back.
Mittank’s friends suggested that they remained with him, but Mittank assured them he was fine. Mittank was prescribed Cefprozil – an antibiotic.
Mittank and his friends all checked out of the hotel, and his friends subsequently flew back to Germany. Mittank checked in to the Hotel Color Varna for a night.
On 7th July, Mittank’s behaviour became erratic. Mittank became paranoid, calling his mother and saying that people were trying to kill or rob him, and that she should cancel his credit cards.
CCTV footage showed Mittank pacing up and down the halls in the hotel, looking out of windows, inspecting items on the walls closely and even hiding in an elevator.
The day after, Mittank made it to Varna Airport. This was 8th July, with Mittank hoping to fly home on this day. He had texted his mother to let her know that he had made it to the airport.
Once there, he met with the airport doctor – Dr. Kosta Kostov – who was due to make a decision on whether or not he was fit for travel. Dr. Kostov gave Mittank the all-clear, though noticed that Mittank was acting in a nervous and erratic way.
Mittank said to Kostov about his concerns regarding the medicine he had been prescribed. While they were speaking, a construction worker entered the office, which led to Mittank becoming very scared.
Kostov later said how Mittank said “I don’t want to die here, I have to get out of here”. Mittank fled the office, leaving behind all of his luggage and personal items – including his passport.
CCTV footage (above) picked up Mittank sprinting through the airport and fleeing the terminal. CCTV footage from outside the airport sees Mittank jogging away from the airport towards a forest.
Mittank climbs a fence, and continues to run away. He eventually disappears from the camera. He was not picked up by any other camera. Sadly, Mittank was never seen again.
Bulgarian and German investigators both launched investigations into Mittank’s disappearance. His family and friends were notified, both of which were left devastated by his disappearance.
A search of the local area and forest failed to find any sign of Mittank. It wasn’t a large forest, with a road running adjacent to it. It is believed that Mittank made it to this road.
While some sightings were reported, nothing concrete was found. Investigators followed up many reported sightings, but unfortunately, no sighting proved to be authentic.
Searches continued, and appeals were made, but there was never any sign of Mittank. Sandra Mittank – the mother of Lars – hired a private detective to look into the disappearance, but they too were unable to discover any leads or anything substantial.
The search for Mittank was renowned for throwing up very little in the way of leads. It had appeared as if Mittank had vanished off the face of the earth.
Many people have pointed to the Cefprozil medication that Mittank had been prescribed as a way of explaining what happened. It has been suggested that Mittank may have become paranoid as a side effect of the medicine.
However, Dr. Kostov the airport’s doctor, said that Mittank had not been taking the prescribed medication. Kostov has said that he has no idea why Mittank left his office in such a hurry.
Regardless of how Cefprozil impacted Mittank – it does seem that he was suffering from some form of psychosis. He may have been concussed and/or delusional. This is something that many people have agreed must have happened in order to explain his behaviour.
Numerous sightings were reported over the months and years after Mittank’s appearance. One of the best known sightings came in 2019 in Dresden, Germany.
A trucker came forward to say that he had picked up a hitchhiker and taken him to Schildow, near Berlin. The trucker became aware of the case of Lars Mittank some time after the journey, and told investigators that he believed the hitchhiker that he had picked up was Mittank.
He said that the person he had given a lift to resembled Mittank, albeit having aged and grown a beard. This gave investigators a lead to build on, with the trucker being sure it was him.
Mittank’s family have said that they believe Lars is still out there. They have also proposed that he may have lost his memory, but remains alive.
Sandra Mittank continues to raise awareness of the case on social media. She has said that she continues to get plenty of pictures sent to her of potential sightings. The hope is that one day, one such picture will be Lars himself.
The nature of Lars Mittank’s disappearance has led to significant interest in the case on the internet. The CCTV footage especially has led to mass speculation.
As such, Mittank has become known as “the most famous missing person on YouTube”. The fact that the case is still unsolved means the speculation is likely to continue.
There are a few different theories to explain what may have happened to Lars Mittank. Here we cover some of these, and look at the evidence for each:
Theory One: Lars Mittank was hallucinating and is now dead
Mittank’s behaviour was certainly erratic, and his paranoia suggests he was suffering from a form of psychosis. It is possible that an unexpected reaction to Cefprozil was to blame.
However, the doctor that checked on Mittank that he hadn’t been taking them. It is possible that the injury sustained in the attack also caused him to hallucinate. Then there is also the possibility that there was a genuine threat.
Whatever the case, Mittank may have ran away to an eventual death. Mittank was abroad for the first time, disoriented and potentially psychotic. He is unlikely to have survived for long if he was exposed to the elements.
While Bulgaria is a rather small country, it does have areas of wilderness. It is possible that Mittank made his way to such an area, was unable to survive the elements, and that his body has simply never been found.
But if Mittank did die, then how? He could have been hit by a car or attacked. But there is no sign of his body. If he did die due to exposure, it isn’t clear why he wouldn’t have sought food or drink from somewhere – nor why his body has never been located.
Theory Two: Lars Mittank is still alive and on the streets
Many have assumed that Mittank survived the first few hours. As Mittank appeared to be trying to avoid a group of people, it is likely he tried to hitchhike. As the forest backed onto a road, it is likely that he did indeed make it to the road.
The question now though is – where could he be? If he had become brain damaged, it is possible that he has continued to hitchhike ever since, and is now living on the streets, unaware of his past.
He hasallegedly been spotted in numerous places, and the trucker from Dresden was fairly sure that it had been Mittank that he was giving a lift to.
This would explain why Mittank has never been found. But it is difficult to envisage someone being on the streets for this long without anyone becoming aware of who he is.
Theory Three: Lars Mittank became a victim of human trafficking
Arguably the worst case would be if Mittank had unwittingly became a victim of human trafficking. Human trafficking is common in Bulgaria, especially given its close proximity to many nations.
If a disoriented and confused Mittank sought help, a person with evil intentions may have taken Mittank in, before exposing him to forced labour or some form of imprisonment.
He may have been trafficked to another country, where he continues to live to this day. Hopefully, if this was the case Mittank would have been able to escape, but this isn’t a guarantee.
Theory Four: Lars Mittank disappeared intentionally
One theory that is a possibility is that Mittank disappeared intentionally. It is possible that Mittank ran away and started a new life for himself. This would have been difficult, albeit possible.
However, Mittank did seemingly have every intention of flying home, and had a family and partner back in Germany. He didn’t seem to have any reason to leave behind his existing life.
Moreover, it seems unlikely that Mittank could create such an elaborate spur-of-the-moment plan in such a short space of time. But it is always a possibility, and would explain why no body has ever been found.
With the above theories in mind, we now invite you to cast your vote on the theory that you believe is most likely in the poll below.
The disappearance of Lars Mittank is very bewildering. It does appear that Mittank had some form of psychotic episode – but as to his fate, it isn’t known. This leaves his family in the lurch.
Many believe he is alive, but just unaware of who he is. Whatever the case is, the Mittank family continue to raise awareness of the case, and hope to see Lars again one day.