Divers search Groningen waters for missing teen
Police and firefighters searched the waters of Spilsluizen in Groningen with boats, divers and a dreg team for missing Groningen student Wytze Pennink on Sunday. The 18-year-old boy from Bussum was last seen early on Friday morning. His body was not found in the search.
Fellow students reported Wytze missing on Friday when he did not come home after a night out in Groningen. "That does not suit his habits", a police spokesperson said to the Telegraaf.
Pennink is a member of Groningen student association Vindicat, according to broadcaster NOS. On Friday night and Saturday afternoon groups of over 200 people searched for the missing student. Many of them are fellow members of the student association. They handed out flyers and pictures of the missing teen during the search.
"It often happens that one of us only gets home around noon", housemate Peter Croll said to RTV Noord. "But alarm bells went off with us Friday in the course of the afternoon."
Surveillance camera footage shows Wytze walking past the tourist office VVV around 5:30 a.m on Friday morning. He was wearing red tights, gray shorts and a blue Hawaiian shirt with flowers on it. The police are concerned that he may have fallen into a Groningen canal.
For Vindicat, Wytze's disappearance is another hit in a month full of incidents. First there was outrage over a so-called bang list featuring female Vindicat members circulating on the internet. The list contained their name, photo, telephone number and a rating on how sexy they are.
Days later a prospective Vindicat member ended up in hospital with a brain injury. It seems another students stood on his head during hazing. The Public Prosecutor launched a criminal investigation into the incident. The University and municipality of Groningen now want to ban hazing in the city.
Wytze's disappearance has nothing to do with incidents at Vindicat, police spokesperson Ron Reinds said to the Volkskrant. "This is a grown man who walked into the city after a party at the association. You can not hold Vindicat responsible for that", he said.