Germanwings co-pilot allegedly hid illness from employers, torn-up sick notes found in home

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BERLIN (AP) — Police have searched the homes of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in two German cities in search of an explanation for why he may have crashed a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

Prosecutors in the western city of Duesseldorf say they seized medical documents from Lubitz’s home that indicate “an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment.”

Prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said in a statement Friday that torn-up sick notes for the day of the crash “support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues.”

He said the search of Lubitz’s home revealed no suicide note or evidence of any political or religious motivation for his actions.

German tabloid Bild reported Friday that Lubitz had a “serious depressive episode” six years ago and that a medical problem was noted in aviation records.

The Federal Aviation Office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

French investigators believe the 27-year-old locked himself inside the cockpit and then intentionally smashed the Germanwings plane into a mountainside.

A spokeswoman for Duesseldorf police, Susanna Heusgen, said “no crucial piece of evidence has been found yet” after the searches in Duesseldorf and Montabaur.

Duesseldorf prosecutors say they plan to release an update later Friday.

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