Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found dead near a railway track between Frankfurt and Mainz on Saturday (Mar. 28), German authorities confirmed.
Police believed he committed suicide
Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, lies in Hesse.
The prosecution believed that he had committed suicide, German news site DW reported.
The politician apparently left a note behind, according to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, citing sources close to the investigation.
The note, according to the report, referenced Schäfer's reasons for taking his own life.
The 54-year-old politician had regularly appeared in public in recent days to inform the public about financial assistance during the Covid-19 crisis.
Was living with considerable worry and stress due to Covid-19 outbreak
Hessian state Minister-President Volker Bouffier shared his condolences in a statement, adding that the late finance minister had been facing considerable worry and stress due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
"His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid," Bouffier said on Sunday (Mar. 29).
"For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me."
Schäfer was widely expected to succeed Bouffier as the next state Minister-President, if the latter did not stand for re-election in 2023.
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Twitter that Schäfer's sudden passing "shocked me, shocked all of us" in the party.
"It has hit us and left us sad and stunned," she wrote on Twitter.
Die Nachricht vom plötzlichen Tod von Thomas Schäfer hat mich, hat uns alle in der CDU schockiert. Sie trifft uns und macht uns traurig und fassungslos. Jetzt sind alle unsere Gedanken und Gebete bei seiner Familie.— A. Kramp-Karrenbauer (@akk) March 28, 2020
Schäfer leaves behind his wife and two children.
Support hotlines for those seeking help
If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call to seek help, advice, or just have a listening ear:
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health’s Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
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