On the afternoon of August 5, 2023, a tragic discovery was made when a passerby found the body of Maria Fernanda Sanchez Castaneda, a young Mexican woman, in the Teltow Canal, Adlershof. Maria Fernanda had been reported missing since July 22, 2023. Berlin police confirmed the news, stating that there were no initial signs of violence.
The authorities announced Maria Fernanda’s unfortunate demise on social media. Further verification was undertaken by the German authorities, who matched the deceased woman’s features with those of Maria Fernanda, thereby eliminating the likelihood of mistaken identity.
Following the official confirmation, Maria Fernanda’s family, through the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), confirmed her death in a brief information card. The family expressed gratitude for the support and solidarity they received, while also requesting respect for their daughter’s memory, their grieving process, and their privacy.
Maria Fernanda had relocated to Berlin, Germany, to pursue her Master’s degree. The last known information about her was that she left her apartment in Büchnerweg on July 22, supposedly for a meeting, but never returned. Upon her disappearance, her family traveled to Europe to monitor the investigation.
The Mexican Embassy in Germany reached out to Maria Fernanda’s family, who had traveled to Europe to keep track of the investigation. The Berlin Criminal Investigation Department shared that Maria Fernanda was in an “exceptional psychological situation”, although they did not specify if she had a condition.
In response to her disappearance, friends, and acquaintances created a social media account, “Find Maffy Berlin”, which has gathered 780 followers. Posts on the account revealed that Maria Fernanda, also known as Maff or Maffy, enjoyed singing and practicing yoga.
RIP Maria Fernanda
As Maria Fernanda’s story unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by international students abroad. Adjusting to a new environment, coping with homesickness, and managing the demands of academic pursuits are all part of the journey.
The loss of Maria Fernanda has profoundly impacted her family, friends, and the larger community. As her loved ones grapple with her sudden and tragic departure, they find solace in remembering her as a vibrant, ambitious woman with a love for music and yoga.
At the Mexico Daily Post, we express our deepest condolences and wish the family peace to bring comfort and the courage to face this tragedy. RIP Maria Fernanda.