Body of missing student found in Leeuwarden canal

This story was updated with police confirmation of the identity. An earlier draft of this article stated Bruinsma was last seen on December 2, when in fact he was last seen during the early morning hours of December 1.

A body found in the water of the Noordersingel in Leeuwarden is that of 18-year-old student Remon Bruinsma. Missing for a month, the search for the man focused on the Frisian capital city’s canals, not far from the Monday afternoon discovery.

Bruinsma was last seen leaving a pub in the city’s Nieuwestad district at 2 a.m. on December 1 after a night out. The teen from Zwaagwesteinde did not arrive at a classmates home, where he was to spend the night.

Searches on the water and the canal-sides turned up nothing. The authorities even used a specially-equipped helicopter and a dog team to try and find the teen. His phone was found in front of a department store in the city, and his bandana and gloves were also recovered during the hunt.

The body was spotted by someone walking in the area, Friesland police confirmed just after 1:10 p.m. Officers were asked to respond to an address on that canal about 30 minutes earlier. Police publicly revealed the identification at 3:30 p.m.

Initially, authorities were not willing to jump to conclusions about the identity of the deceased. “We understand that there are a lot of questions because of the discovery of the body in Leeuwarden,” police said on Twitter, stressing the need to conduct a thorough investigation. “Thus, there are many questions -which we also have- which can not be answered right now.”

Because of the investigation, a New Year’s dive in the area was cancelled so authorities could have the space to conduct forensic research.