Prosecutor demands 13 years in prison for 14 year old cold case murder
The Public Prosecutor demanded 13 years in prison against suspects Frank S. and Souris R. for the murder of Alex Wiegmink over 14 years ago. The suspects were also charged with hiding Wiegmink's body, but that charge was dropped because its statute of limitations was reached, NOS reports.
Fourteen years ago Alex Wiegmink went jogging in the Posbank nature area on the Veluwe and never returned home. In January 2003 his body was found in a burnt out car in a wooded area in Erp, Brabant. For years Wiegmink's murder remained a mystery, until the police had a breakthrough in November last year. One of the suspects turned himself in, the other was arrested shortly after. They confessed to murdering Wiegmink because he caught them in the act of stealing his car.
Wiegmink's family was present in court on Wednesday. Many of them took a chance to speak. "I was never able to say goodbye to my husband, he was too badly mutilated", his wife said in court, according to NOS. "The children miss a father, their father. The neighbor had to teach them to patch their tires." All three sons lost their youth in an instant, she said. They all received professional help, but still face problems.
"The last time I saw my father was when he drove by, honked and waved as I was waiting for friends", oldest son Sander said in court. He lived in a daze in the days after his father's body was found. "I took over caring for my two little brothers and held myself strong for them." He still has trouble showing fear and sandess, he told the court.
He missed his father in so many moments of his life. "At my graduation ceremony, when I bought my first house. Doing odd jobs at home, I now know that I'm not a top painter." He describes his father as sweet and caring. "He somtimes had a short temper, but baked the best pancakes and was above all my father."
Freek was 11 when his dad disappeared. "I heard the next morning that my father had passed away. At that moment my world collapsed." he said in court. He went to school that day, because he didn't want to face all the strangers in his home. He received a lot of help, but it didn't help him much. "No matter how well that help was meant, no one knows what it's like to lose your father like this. I found my resort in food and became quite a fat boy." He was also a difficult teenager. "I'm sorry about that."
Youngest brother Jos was 8 when his father died. "I've had to experience my entire youth in a way that shouldn't be. Daddy's gone: that's not how it's supposed to be." He continually had to answer questions about why his family was not "as it should be", he said. "I was bullied in primary school. I missed a father who could teach me to stand up for myself."
Suspect Frank S. responded to the statements: "It's heartbreaking what I'm hearing. What can I say? I'm sorry, but that won't bring Alex back."