Flies lead to discovery of elderly man's body hidden in Nuenen home

Gavel with lady justice in the background
Gavel with lady justice in the backgroundPhoto: SergPoznanskiy/DepositPhotos

A month in prison was demanded against 52-year-old Peter van D. from Helmond in the court in Den Bosch on Tuesday, for hiding his 84-year-old father's body in the father's house after his death. Hundreds of flies in the window finally led to the discovery of the elderly man's remains, AD reports.

An autopsy showed that the elderly man likely died of natural causes. He was found in his Nuenen apartment in May last year, hidden under clothing and cloths. The apartment's curtains had been closed for a long time. Local residents were concerned about the man as they had not seen him for weeks. When one resident noticed hundreds of flies in the apartment's window, he called the police.

Van D. regularly visited his father's home on Bernhardstraat even after the elderly man's death. When neighbors asked about his father, the man told them that he was living in Helmond and doing well, according to the newspaper. The police found multiple air fresheners in the home and around the body. "It started to stink", Van D. told the police. According to Van D., the body was hidden in the home for around 10 weeks.

The suspect gave no motive for hiding the body, only saying that he was shocked by his father's death. According to the Public Prosecutor, it had to do with money. Van D. was always financially dependent on his father. He used his father's state pension to pay off debts and to support himself, both before and after his father's death. 

The man's lawyer asked the court for an acquittal, because there was no intent behind hiding the body. He was in a panic, she said.

Van D. was not present at the hearing on Tuesday. He had a cerebral infarction in September and suffered from meningitis last month. The prison sentence demanded against him is conditionally suspended, because his physical condition is not suitable for imprisonment or community service. As the Public Prosecutor considered the crime too severe for a fine, a conditional prison sentence was demanded.