Thousands pay tribute as murdered teen is laid to rest

White doves released at Romy Nieuwburg's funeral, 13 June 2017
White doves released at Romy Nieuwburg's funeral, 13 June 2017Photo: @pieter2frank / Twitter

Fourteen year old Romy Nieuwburg was laid to rest in her hometown of Hoevelaken on Tuesday afternoon. The memorial service and burial were held in only the presence of her friends and family, but thousands of others lined the town's streets to pay tribute as the funeral procession passed, AD reports.

The coffin with the girl's body was taken through town on a white carriage, pulled by two horses. Flags hung at half-mast throughout the town and many retailers decided to close their shops for the funeral. Hundreds of people left flowers and stuffed animals at a memorial site in the music chapel on Van Aalstplein. 

Romy's family is touched by the show of support, they said in a statement, ANP reports. "It was a beautiful, dignified farewell in which the love for Roy could be felt all around. It felt like Hoevelaken, and people from outside it, embraced us. In this difficult time, that's a comfort for our family", the family said.

Mayor Gerard Renkema said he is "deeply touched by the intense sorrow of the relatives, but also the sympathy of all the people in the community", AD reports. 

Romy's body was found in a watery ditch in Achterveld, Utrecht on Friday, June 2nd. She was attacked while cycling home from school in De Glind. A 14-year-old boy, who she knew from school, was arrested. He confessed to sexually assaulting and killing her. 

If the boy is prosecuted, he will fall under the juvenile criminal law. The maximum penalty for a 14-year-old in the Netherlands is one year in juvenile detention, according to However, in a case involving murder, the court usually imposes placement in a juvenile institution. This measure can be imposed for three years, and can then twice be extended for two years if necessary. 

Hartverwarmende beelden: lange rijen mensen leggen in stilte bloemen voor Romy (14)

Geplaatst door AD Amersfoortse Courant op Dinsdag 13 juni 2017