Arrest made in teenage girl's 1995 murder
Police in the Netherlands arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of the rape and murder of Nicole van den Hurk nearly two decades ago. New DNA evidence gave detectives the opening they needed to make the arrest, police say.
The teenaged girl from Eindhoven disappeared after leaving her grandmother's house in Tongelre by bicycle on her way to her job in a supermarket on October 6, 1995. Her body was discovered in the shrubbery between Mierlo and Lierop in Noord-Brabant, about ten kilometers east of the grandmother's home.
The arrest was made Tuesday morning in Helmond. Police say evidence suggests a violent act contributed to Van den Hurk's death. A magistrate will decide today if police may hold the man in custody as the investigation continues.
Police say they reopened the cold case towards the end of 2012 with the help of the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Trace evidence collected at the crime scene led investigators to the profile of the suspect.
Since then, a team of six detectives were assigned to work on the case full time, according to a police report.
Cold case squads in 2004 and 2011 attempted to crack the case, but failed to generate new leads. Her 38-year-old step brother, Andy van den Hurk, reportedly contacted police with new information over two years ago giving detectives reason to exhume the victim's body in September 2011. Police wanted to hold him as a suspect, but a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to do so.
Police were unable to make a breakthrough at the time, and the girl's body was released back to the family two months later.