The girlfriend of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 26-year-old math teacher Kathrin Goldbach, was reportedly too scared to return home and may never go back following reports that her boyfriend intentionally crashed the plane to commit suicide, taking all 144 passengers, the pilot and four cabin crewmembers with him. Friends of Goldbach, who was pregnant when he died, told the Daily Mail that the schoolteacher and her family had no plans to return to Montabaur, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, where she shared an apartment with Lubitz, for fear that they would face a backlash.  

Goldbach has reportedly enlisted the support of a priest to help her cope with the tragedy and swirling media attention. “The hatred of the world is coming down upon her, and you know this place is so small, it is very hard for them to come back here,” a friend of the family told the Daily Mail. “They would have to look to find somewhere to stay around here if they wanted to get away. It is just not possible for them to keep a low profile so they are not coming back.” 

Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed March 24 in the French Alps en route from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany. Ground control lost communication with the aircraft shortly after takeoff. The plane descended for 18 minutes before colliding with the mountainside, killing everyone onboard.

The reason for the bizarre crash remained largely a mystery until investigators were able to retrieve vital information from the plane’s black box voice recorder, which was recovered from the crash site. Authorities believe Lubitz intentionally crashed the commercial jetliner into the mountains in an apparent suicide. The co-pilot reportedly locked the pilot out of the cockpit before downing the aircraft.

Lubitz was believed to have been depressed and had told his girlfriend he was in psychiatric treatment. Goldbach, who was previously identified in reports only as Mary W, said Lubitz had once woken up from an apparent nightmare screaming, “We’re going down!” and that he once told her, “One day I will do something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.”