Norwegian police halts search for missing Dutch man: report

Arjen Kamphuis
Arjen Kamphuis. (Photo: Politie)

The Norwegian police stopped actively searching for missing Dutch man Arjen Kamphuis in the area around Rognan, where some of his personal belongings were found. "Only with new information will we search further", assistant police chief Bjarte Walla said to Het Parool.

The search was halted on Wednesday after nothing new was found in a week of searching. "There is a chance that you will encounter something, but there is no longer any searching for it. We have combed the area with sniffer dogs. There is no reason to look further", Walla said.

That the search was stopped does not mean that the investigation into Kamphuis's disappearance is being scaled down. "We will continue with the same commitment. We will continue to investigate all the tips we have received. There are a few new tips, but they are not of such a nature that we communicate about them in the media", Walla said to the newspaper.

Kamphuis, a 47-year-old cyber security and computer expert from Amsterdam, went on holiday in Norway in August. He was last seen checking out of his hotel in Bodø, in the north of the country, on August 20th. He was scheduled to fly back to the Netherlands on August 22nd, but never came home. His employer reported him missing on August 29th.

Last week Tuesday a fisherman found some of Kamphuis's personal belongings near the coast in the vicinity of Kvaenflaget, a small mountain between Fauske and Rognan located about 100 kilometers east of Bodø. Local television station TV2 reported that his identity documents were among the belongings found. According to NOS they were found floating in the water. A collapsible kayak Kamphuis bought before his holiday was also found.

On August 30th his cellphone was turned on in the vicinity of Vikeså for 20 minutes. After that the SIM card was removed and a German SIM was put into the phone. Witnesses reported seeing him there with two other people on the same day. Bodø is over 1,600 kilometers away from Vikeså.

Local residents in Rognan think that Kamphuis may have stowed away on a cargo ship that left from the port town around the time of his disappearance on August 20th. The ship was heading for Stavanger, around 50 kilometers away from Vikeså where his phone was turned on 10 days later.

The last trace of Kamphuis to surface was a paddle, according to Het Parool. It was established that the paddle was of the same brand as a paddle Kamphuis bought in the Netherlands before leaving for Norway. 

The Norwegian police believe one of three things happened to Kamphuis. "The first is that he may have had an accident in which he died or is still alive but needs help", Walla said to the newspaper. "The second is that he wants to remain hidden himself. The third that he fell victim to a criminal offense."