Mass participation in DNA investigation into Dutch boy's murder

Nicky Verstappen, murdered at age 11 in Brunssum in August 1998
Nicky Verstappen, murdered at age 11 in Brunssum in August 1998Photo: Politie

Men in the Limburg region massively responded to the police's call to give a DNA sample for a kinship investigation in the 1998 murder of 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen from Heibloem. On Saturday alone, 1,225 men gave samples. The police even opened an extra collection point in Landgraaf to process the massive response, the Telegraaf reports.

Nicky was found dead in the Brunssummerheide during a summer camp in 1998. With this massive DNA kinship investigation, the police hope to identify a relative of the perpetrator by comparing donated DNA to trace evidence found on they boy's pajama pants. A total of 21,500 men were invited to give a sample in the next three weeks. These involve men between the ages of 18 and 75 years who live near the Brunssummerheide. The police believe the perpetrator came from this area, because Nicky's body was found in a spot that would only be known to people from the region.

Arnold Verstappen, who is unrelated to the boy but had him as a student at school, was one of the men who gave a DNA sample on Saturday. "When I say that I am from Heibloem, I am from the village of Nicky Verstappen. Of course this is about Nicky's parents, but for Heibloem it would be nice if this was solved. We are a small community, with only eight hundred inhabitants. For twenty years this has slumbered in the background", he said to the Telegraaf.

"Yes, this is what you can do", another donor told the newspaper. "This is a nightmare for Nicky's family. I also notice that there is a great willingness to cooperate. I really hope it will be clear soon and I am optimistic."

The police will know within a year whether the DNA found on Nicky's pajamas matches any of the samples given as part of this investigation.