Graveyard searched for body of student missing since 1993
Update: Nothing was found in the search of the Maastricht graveyard, the Limburg police said on Tuesday evening
The police searched a specific grave in a graveyard in Maastricht on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of then 18-year-old Tanja Groen in 1993. This search was prompted by new information the cold case team at the Limburg police received in the fall of 2019 about where Tanja's body might have been hidden, the police said in a statement.
The information led the police to the cemetery of the Catholic Church Heugem, located on De Beente in Maastrict. On Wednesday the police opened one of the graves in the cemetery for forensic investigation. The police stressed that the man buried in that grave and his family are not involved in this disappearance and voluntarily lent their cooperation to the investigation.
Tanja Groen disappeared almost 27 years ago, on 31 August 1993. On that evening she attended a student association party on Herbenusstraat in Maastricht. At around 7:30 p.m. she was in touch with her mother in Schagen. She left the party around midnight and cycled to her room in Gronsveld, south of Maastricht. That was the last time anyone saw or heard from her.
Tanja's parents were informed about the search on Wednesday. Mother Corrie and father Adrie both released a short statement, and asked the press not to contact them for the time being.
"It is more than 26 years ago that our daughter disappeared without a trace," Corrie Groen said. "The uncertainty about her fate has been unbearable for my husband, our children and myself all that time. This has been on our minds every day. We would be very relieved if this uncertainty now comes to an end and we can bring our daughter home."
"Of course we still have to wait and see what the search yields, but it was made clear to us that this is not just a tip," father Adrie said. "It is very stressful for us. We hope that we will finally, finally get an answer to our questions. Everything is better tan the doubts and uncertainties that we have lived with for so long."