Woman driving with mother's dead body may go to prison

On Monday the Public Prosecutor demanded a prison sentence of 367 days and 3 years of probation against a 56 year old woman from Rijnsaterwoude who is charged with driving her mother's dead body out of the country and hiding it.

In May last year the police launched an investigation into the disappearance of two women - the then 55 year old suspect and her 80 year old terminally ill mother. The suspect left a note stating that she was fulfilling a last promise to her mother.

As there were great concerns about the 80 year old woman's health, the police pulled out all the stops to find the two women. The police investigation extended into Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. The suspect was finally arrested on June 8th last year, but her mother was still missing.

The suspect initially told the police that she had know idea where her mother was. She said that she had promised her mother one more trip to her parents home in Germany. After the visit to Germany they drove to the Czech Republic and happened to come across a Polish man with a motor-home. As the motor home would be more comfortable for the elderly mother, the suspect arranged that the Polish man would drive her back to the Netherlands in his camper, according to the suspect. This man then disappeared with her mother.

The police investigation revealed that the suspect was in financial trouble and was afraid of losing her mother's house. Statements from the suspect's 16 year old daughter revealed that the suspect said that if her mother was never officially declared dead, she would still receive benefit and pension payments. For this reason she devised a plan to get her 80 year old mother out of the Netherlands.

Some time after the arrest, the 16 year old daughter told the police that her grandmother died at home on the night of May 12th or 13th. Her mother then took her grandmother's body and a number of things to make it seem that she was still alive. When faced with this statement, the suspect confirmed that it was true. She admitted to hiding her mother's body in a forest in the Czech Republic and then stole license plates in an effort to avoid the police. The 80 year old woman's body was found on August 6th last year.

The 56 year old woman was initially charged with abducting her mother, resulting in death. These charges have been dropped as there is insufficient evidence to substation them. She is now being prosecuted for hiding the body, defrauding the state pension provider and stealing license plates.

The court will rule on this case in two weeks.