Body of killed teen girl found in ditch not far from second girl's disappearance

A body found dead in a watery ditch in Achterveld, Utrecht was identified as that of a 14-year-old girl from neighboring Hoevelaken, police said on Saturday. An initial investigation determined that a crime led to the girl's death, police said without elaborating further.

A witness noticed the body at about 5 p.m. on Friday while on the Emelaarsepad. Police are asking anyone who was in the area in the hours leading up to the discovery to contact them as they try to piece together what happened that day.

Evidence was collected in the area on Friday, with police deploying a helicopter and sniffer dogs to aid in the investigation. The area remained secure overnight, with forensics investigators back at the crime scene on Saturday.

The body pulled from the water is not the body of Savannah Dekker, another 14-year-old girl reported missing on Thursday. Dekker has not been seen since leaving her house in Bunschoten, about 18 kilometers from Hoevelaken, with plans to meet fellow classmates. She had also discussed having dinner that night with her family.

Her bike was found locked on Friday near a bus stop in Hoogland, a few kilometers south of Bunschoten and on the outskirts of Amersfoort. The bus stop is less than ten kilometers from Hoevelaken.

Dekker's grandmother made an emotional appeal on a local broadcaster, calling for anyone to share what they know with the family. "Mom and Dad miss you very much, but also grandmothers and grandfathers," Lenie Dekker said.

Savannah Dekker is a 173-centimeters tall white girl with light brown and red hair. She was wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt, blue jeans with faded spots, and fluorescent pink Nike shoes at the time of her disappearance.

A police spokesperson told newspaper AD that there is no known link between the two cases as of Saturday afternoon.

Savannah Dekker, missing in Bunschoten since 1 Jun 2017
Savannah Dekker, missing in Bunschoten since 1 Jun 2017Photo: Monique Dekker-Beekhuis / Facebook