Charges upgraded to aggravated abortion, manslaughter in Brazilian woman’s death

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

With reporting by Janene Pieters.

Prosecutors upgraded charges against a man arrested in Diemen over the death of a pregnant Brazilian woman and her unborn son. Dennis van E., 48, is facing accusations of aggravated abortion and manslaughter, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) confirmed on Friday. He was ordered held in jail for an additional 70 days in a hearing on Monday while attorneys continue to prepare for the case to come to trial, the Amsterdam district court system told NL Times.

Patricia de Oliveira Santos, 32, was eight months pregnant when she died, said the OM, confirming similar statements made by her family to a Brazilian news outlet. Dennis van E. was probably the father of the child.

The bodies of the woman and baby were found in an apartment on Martin Luther Kinglaan on October 18th. Dennis van E., a 48-year-old financial planner, was arrested later that same day when he volunteered for police questioning, the OM confirmed. He was initially held under suspicion of illegal abortion and death through negligence.

The suspect met Van E. while he was vacationing in Brazil a few years ago and they had been together for three years. She was seven months pregnant when Van E. sent an airline ticket to her so she could travel to the Netherlands this past September and spend more time with him.

Once in the Netherlands, Patricia told her family that Van E.'s attitude changed and that he was pushing her to get an illegal abortion. On October 18th, Van E. messaged Patricia's sister to tell her that Patricia was dead.

"Suddenly, the 18th, he texted me that when he woke up, he went to call my sister and she didn't wake up. That she died because she had aborted and bled a lot", Fabiana said to Brazilian media. The family was officially informed of Patricia's death on October 22nd. 

"The man had failed to seek medical help for the woman when it was urgently needed," the OM said in a statement on Friday. The prosecutors had asked for a 70-day extension of the pre-trial detention.

Sources told NL Times that the residents of the apartment building are still very shaken about the deaths of Patricia and her baby. Local media had reported on rumors that the crime scene was very bloody and highly disturbing. Those in contact with the residents say that the nature of the crime and incident has had a deep impact on some people living there.