Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was expecting a baby with his teacher girlfriend before the air crash which killed him and 149 others, it has been claimed.
Reports in the German press suggest that Lubitz’s unnamed partner had become pregnant by him in recent months.
Bild am Sonntag, the nation’s best-selling Sunday paper, said that the woman had broken the news to her students within the past few weeks.
She is understood to have been travelling to the Alpine crash site in southern France when the news was broken that Lubitz was suspected of having caused the catastrophe.
Lubitz lived with his girlfriend in a flat in one of Dusseldorf’s most prestigious suburbs.
Their art deco-style flat is roughly 20 minutes by road from both the city’s international airport and the Krefeld school where Lubitz’s girlfriend is thought to have taught.
German magazine Der Spiegel has claimed that the two had even made plans to marry, although authorities have yet to confirm this.
Lubitz’s partner is thought to have taught English and Maths at Krefeld’s Gesamtschule Kaiserplatz, a state comprehensive with several hundred students.
Headteacher Jochen Adrian did not return calls for comment.
The resident caretaker also appeared to be keeping a low profile, refusing to open the door when The Telegraph called at his residence.
The sprawling two floor complex is situated in one of Krefeld’s most affluent neighbourhoods.
Local residents were unaware of the development and declined to comment on the claims.
It comes a day after an ex-girlfriend of the Germanwings pilot said he had been planning a spectacular gesture to make everyone “remember” who he was.
Maria, 26 (not her real name), told Bild newspaper that when she heard about the crash she remembered that he had said he was going do something “that would change the system” and “make everyone remember” him.
She described him as “tormented” and able to hide secrets.
The final moments on board the plane have been revealed after the black box voice recorder was discovered.
It shows Lubitz badgered his pilot to leave the cockpit. Banging can then be heard on the cockpit door as Lubitz caused it to descend rapidly.
Meanwhile the stunned people of Lubitz’s home town were engaged in profound soul searching on Sunday over the actions of one of their own.
Churchgoers in the town were asked to pray for the co-pilot’s parents and younger brother, as well as all the victims of the Germanwings aircrash.
The packed congregation at the main Catholic church in Montabaur was asked to remember all those affected by the actions of the 27-year-old who grew up alongside them
Father Blechschmidt, leading the service at St Peter in Chains church in the small town in western Germany, said. “Today we want to pray for the victims of the plane crash and their families.
He told the 200-strong congregation during the Palm Sunday service: “Lord, our God, we grieve for the victims of flight 4U9525 in the French Alps. Stunned, we had to follow this terrible disaster in the media. It is hard to put our thoughts into words and to understand what has happened – perhaps because it cannot be understood.
“The knowledge that we have about this plane crash is not yet definitive. That does not make this situation easier for us.”
He added: “We pray for all the victims who died in this terrible disaster. We pray for those who have lost their lives in our region, the Westerwald. Our thoughts are also with the many victims of the student exchange from the Joseph-König-Gymnasium in Haltern am See.
“We remember those who lost their lives in Germany, Spain and other countries. Our thoughts are also with all the families of the victims, with the friends, the partners and neighbours, the teachers, the classmates who grieve for the dead. We can hardly imagine what they must all endure and live through in these days.
“We also want to pray for the family of the co-pilot of the crashed plane that is affected by the current situation most dramatically and is in the public eye.
“We also pray for all the helpers working at the crash site in Saint-des-Alpes to investigate the accident and to care for the families. We pray for all helpers and pastors who want to help in Duesseldorf, in Barcelona, and who want to help the families to come to terms with what has happened.”
Many have expressed their shock and grief in a book of remembrance opened at the church.
“What was he thinking? When I heard that the man is from Montabaur, I was shaken. Why did he do it? I hope he still goes to heaven,” wrote Felix.
Another wrote: “The family of the disaster-pilot lost their son, too, and has the right to grief. No one can judge here.”
“Why did this happen ???” wrote Mary.
“What desperation the man must have carried within himself to commit such an act. I feel so sorry for him. Dear God, help people in their despair,” wrote another.
Dennis, aged 14 , wrote: “Please, God, let their souls rest in peace. Thank You.”
“We wish the victims’ families and especially the parents of the co-pilot a lot of strength and God bless. May such a terrible tragedy never happen again,” wrote Vilte and Christine.