Rotterdam teen, 17, missing for a week after Grindr date; police very concerned

Orlando Boldewijn
Orlando BoldewijnPhoto: Politie

Update, 11 p.m., 26 February 2018: The body of Orlando Boldewijn was recovered by divers in Den Haag on Monday. More on this story is available in a separate NL Times article.

Seventeen year old Orlando Boldewijn from Rotterdam has been missing since Sunday, February 18th. He never returned home after going to The Hague for a date he made on dating app Grindr. The police are very concerned that something may have happened to him, and urgently call on anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward.

Over this past week the police spoke with Orlando's family, friends, as well as the man he had a date with in The Hague. The man told the police that he dropped Orlando off on Böttgerwater in the Hague neighborhood of Ypenburg after their date. According to him, Orlando was on his way back to Rotterdam.

Family and friends told the police that Orlando regularly made dates online or through apps, but that he never stayed away afterwards. "He also never misses school or work obligations", the police said. There's also been no activity on Orlando's phone or bank account after Sunday. "This makes the police take into account that something has happened to Orlando. The police are urgently looking for witnesses who saw Orlando on Sunday or later or who can tell us more about Orlando's possible whereabouts."

Shortly after midnight Orlando sent a few messages to his mother, saying that he was on his way home among other things. His family told AD that they doubt those messages were written by the teenager himself - some words were spelled differently than Orlando usually writes them. The police know about this.

Close friend Noha den Hartog told RTL Nieuws that she did not know about this date Orlando had with the 20-year-old man from The Hague, something she calls very strange. "He always uses me as an excuse when has dates. Then he says: 'I'm going to Noha tonight.' Normally when he uses that excuse, he will let me know and tell me where he is." she said to the broadcaster. "But we did not know anything about this date."

There are unfortunately no surveillance cameras on Böttgerwater. The police combed the street and the area around it, also looking at surveillance camera footage from elsewhere in the area, but so far to no avail.

On Sunday, February 25th, the police approached passersby in the Ypenburg area, asking them whether they've seen Orlando, according to NOS.