German billionaire declared dead after Swiss Alps disappearance

The view from the "Trockener Steg" gondola station, where the last mobile phone signal of Karl-Erivan Haub was detected Keystone/dominic Steinmann

A German court on Friday officially declared billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub dead, more than three years after the head of retail group Tengelmann went missing in the Swiss Alps.

This content was published on May 14, 2021 - 15:49

Haub, who was 58, was training for a ski mountaineering race when he vanished on the Matterhorn, the iconic mountain on Switzerland’s southern border with Italy.

He was last seen on the morning of April 7, 2018, as he headed up a mountain lift with skis and a daypack. The billionaire was reported missing to police the following morning after he failed to show up at his hotel in Zermatt.

Haub’s family gave up hope of finding him alive after a week and the search for him was officially called off in October 2018.

The district court in Cologne, where Haub lived, said on Friday it had now formally declared him dead, giving the time of death as midnight on April 7, 2018. Haub was born in Tacoma, Washington, and was a German-US dual citizen.

Haub’s brothers, company and wife had applied to have him officially declared dead. The court said it was satisfied by the evidence.

His younger brother, Christian Haub, was named as Tengelmann’s sole CEO after the disappearance. The two had run Tengelmann together since 2000.

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