Resolution in Drenthe murder case

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Police and the Department of Justice in Drenthe have been busy for almost one-and-a-half years with unsolved murder cases due to there being insufficient links. These cases may now finally have been solved. 

In 2012, 55-year old Berend Smit was murdered. His body was found in a forest at Dwingeloo where he was walking his dogs. He had been dead several days before he was found in a ditch, covered with leaves. Smit's car was found in a rest area on the A28. Neither a suspect nor a motive was determined in this case.

Half a year later, another murder happened in Exloo. An elderly couple was found dead in Exloo in July 2013. They were found in their bed. Similarly, little information could be confirmed in the case. There was little evidence for suicide or family murder. There was the option of murder robbery, however, as an iPad, a laptop, mobile phones and a camera were missing from the home.

The murders were not connected at the time.

It took another half a year before any clarity could be brought into these cases. On the 3rd of March, 2014. The Public Prosecution Authority (OM) announces that the elderly couple was indeed murdered, and robbery was the motive.

The investigation was accelerated now. The murder on the couple was announced to be featured in an upcoming broadcast of Opsporing Verzocht, leading to a stream of tips. The police was able to arrest two people before the programme even aired. These men, 28 and 29, were already on the wanted list.

Investigators still had insufficient evidence to arrest them. Various media reported that the suspects are two Brazillian brothers from Hoogeveen. One of them was active in the military in the Urozgan province of Afghanistan.

On Wednesday it appeared the brothers betrayed themselves by calling each other about the broadcast of the crime programme. The police tapped the call and arrested the men with sufficient evidence. A  monthe later, the brothers laid down a complete confession for the murder of the elderly couple in Exloo. The OM is also saying that the brothers are confessing for the murder of Barend Smit.

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