Murdered Dutch boy's parents "very relieved" by suspect's arrest

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

Nicky Verstappen's parents are "very relieved" by the arrest of Jos B., the man suspected of murdering the 11-year-old boy in Brunssummerheide in 1998. B. was arrested in Spain on Sunday. "We did not expect that it would happen so fast. Hoped it, but did not expect it", Nicky's mother Berthie Vestappen said to NOS.

"We were afraid that he would hide away and that it would be months before they came across him or found him", she said. The family hopes that B. will talk so that they can get answers to what happened to their son. "We would like to have answers. At the same time we are afraid of what happened. But otherwise you keep thinking about it, then you have no rest either", Berthie said. "If we know what happened, that he is in a place where he belongs, we can at least close that part."

B. was identified as a suspect early in June based on a large DNA kinship investigation. The man from Simpelveld did not give a DNA sample for the investigation, but members of his family did. The police silently searched for the man for weeks. But as that did not yield anything, his name and photo were released to the public on Wednesday. He was arrested in Spain on Sunday. 

Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, whose been assisting the Verstappen family for years, is also "extremely relieved" by the arrest. "I am glad that the publicity offensive helped", he said to NOS. According to him, a massive burden has fallen off the family's shoulders.