Former soccer star declared dead after car accident found alive four years later, ex-wife suspected of fraud
Hiannick Kamba was once a promising prospect for FC Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga before his career went downhill
A former soccer player who was declared dead following a car accident in 2016 has been found alive and well, according to reports.
Hiannick Kamba, who at one time played for Schalke 04 in Germany's top flight, the Bundesliga, was thought to be dead after he was involved in a car crash in January 2016 in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, he was recently found to be alive in Gelsenkirchen, located in western Germany, with the news confirmed by German prosecutor Anette Milk.
"Mr. Kamba has recently returned to Germany," she said in a statement. "There are no reasonable doubts about his identity."
Now 33, Kamba claimed that "his companions had left him during the night while on a trip to the interior of Congo and they took his papers, money, and telephone."
After hearing about the reports proclaiming his death, he said he headed to the German embassy in Kinshasa to clear his name and confirm that he was still alive but added that he faced problems because of his lack of documentation. He said it took him a couple of years of trouble to reclaim his old life.
It is unclear how Kamba managed to survive the ordeal and who his "companions" were who had cheated him.
His ex-wife, who has not been identified, has now been accused of faking his death. She allegedly forged documents and collected a six-figure life insurance payment following his passing and is now facing charges of fraud.
She has denied the allegations and insisted that she only found out about the insurance after being informed of his presumed death. Milk said "an investigation into fraud is underway at the Essen public prosecutor's office" against her.
Kamba, who shares a 10-year-old daughter with his ex-wife, has not been charged yet either and said he was unaware of her actions. He will reportedly be named as a witness against her in the case.
He and his family had fled to Germany from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1986. However, the whole family, except for him, were deported back in 2005.
He had been allowed to stay because he was a member of Schalke's famed youth academy. He went on to play with current German national team star and World Cup-winner Manuel Neuer.
But at the time he "died," he had been playing for VfB Huls and had been struggling to make it in the bottom tiers of Germany's soccer leagues. The club had even released a statement addressing his death four years ago.
"He represented the ideas and values of our club like few others," they said. "His demise will leave a big gap. Hiannick is undoubtedly a bitter sporting loss for us, but primarily we will miss it as a fellow human being."
It was a career he did not explore following his apparent return from the dead. Kamba has now left behind soccer to work as a chemical technician for an energy supply company.