Coastal search expanded for woman missing since May 29

Anja Schaap
Anja SchaapPhoto: Politie

Dozens of volunteers, rescuers, and investigators from several organizations joined together on Friday morning trying to track down Anja Schaap. The 33-year-old redheaded-woman from Katwijk was last seen at about 1 a.m. on May 29 when she left a cafe in the town’s center.

Friday’s search involves the Coast Guard, the national rescue agency KNRM, and the forest service. They were exploring the area around the Nordduinen and an inlet from the North Sea. It marks the sixth day where organized groups convened to comb an area. Subsurface searches also took place in multiple waterways over the last week and a half.

Authorities said she was recorded on security camera footage walking towards her home, and also in camera footage walking along a dike that would not normally be on her route. Two days after she went missing, a bag with her mobile phone and other personal items was found in the marshy waterway alongside Melkweg in Katwijk aan Zee.

Roughly 300 people are reported missing every month in the region around The Hague, of which only five percent are classified as “urgent”, police said. Schaap’s case is being treated as urgent and not ordinary.

“In the event of an urgent loss, there are substantial indications that the missing person is at risk because the act of disappearing is completely opposite to [their] normal behavior, or there are indications that the missing person is a victim of a crime,” police said. Every situation involving someone under 13, someone with a disability, a person with urgent medical needs, a suspicion of suicidal behavior, or a young person alongside a convicted criminal is also considered to be urgent, police said.

Aside from having reddish blond hair, police described Schaap as being 165 centimeters tall, and having blue-green eyes edged with black eyeliner. She left the cafe De Blauwe Bock wearing light blue jeans and black shoes. She turns 34 next month.