Lars Mittank was an average German student who went on a trip with friends to Golden Sands, Bulgaria. What started as a typical vacation quickly went awry when Mittank disappeared without a trace on July 8, 2014. While cases of people who vanished inexplicably are always shrouded in mystery, the case of Lars Mittank has really captured the public's imagination, largely because of Mittank's odd behavior prior to his disappearance.
Mittank stayed behind in Bulgaria when his friends flew back home due to an ear injury he sustained in a brawl with locals. Mittank became paranoid while staying at a cheap hotel and texted his mother to say he felt he was being followed. Surveillance footage showed him sprinting out of an airport - and then he was nowhere to be found. What happened to Mittank remains a mystery, though grim theories speculate he experienced a mental breakdown or became the victim of organ traffickers.
The last known recording of Mittank, on airport surveillance footage, is highly suspicious. He was on his way to meet up with an airport doctor to confirm he would be able to safely fly back to Germany after sustaining an ear injury.
Though he initially carried his luggage through the airport, he was running out of the airport without any of his belongings about 45 minutes later. Outdoor cameras showed Mittank sprinting through the airport parking lot. Witnesses reported he scaled a barbed wire fence and ran into a nearby forest.
The mystery began with a disagreement over sports. While staying in Bulgaria with friends, Mittank got into a scuffle over a game with four men in a pub on July 6, 2014. A fight ensued, and Mittank suffered a ruptured eardrum as well as facial contusions.
A doctor prescribed Mittank an antibiotic called cefuroxime and advised the young man to wait before flying home. Mittank rented a room at Hotel Color rather than returning to Germany with his friends as planned.
During the night Mittank spent at Hotel Color, he called his mother and claimed four men were following him. He said the hotel felt unsafe and asked his mom to cancel his credit cards.
He expressed suspicion regarding the antibiotic the doctor had prescribed - he believed the men allegedly following him were interested in his medication. His mother, concerned by the conversation, booked him a flight home for the next day. Mittank never got on the plane.
According to reports, Mittank became anxious after encountering a construction worker at the airport. The man walked into the medical services office, where Mittank was seeing Dr. Kosta Kostov for his blown eardrum. Mittank became extremely nervous.
According to Dr. Kostav, before the young man sprinted out of the terminal, he said, "I don't want to die here. I have to get out of here."