Suspect in missing Rotterdam teen's death being threatened: Lawyer

Orlando Boldewijn was found dead in the Böttgerwater in The Hague on 26 Feb 2018
Orlando Boldewijn was found dead in the Böttgerwater in The Hague on 26 Feb 2018Photo: Politie

Roy B., the suspect in the death of 17-year-old Orlando Boldewijn from Rotterdam in 2018, is "vulnerable, mentally disabled, and suffers from PTSD", his lawyer Katja Lotenberg said in a proforma hearing against her client on Monday. He is also being threatened, she said. The lawyer therefore asked that B.'s trial be held in behind closed doors and with no media present, Omroep West reports.

The 29-year-old man is accused of assault resulting in death, death through negligence, and failure to provide assistance. According to the Public Prosecution Service, B. saw Orlando's body in the lake from his houseboat, but did nothing to help the boy

The Public Prosecutor argued against Lotenberg's request, calling transparency "fundamental". "There is not a single suspect who likes to answer for their crime in a public room, but it has to happen," the Prosecutor said. The court ruled in favor of the Prosecutor. "Public access is a major asset in the Netherlands," the court said after a short suspension. 

Orlando's body was found in a lake in the Ypenburg district of The Hague late in February 2018, a week after he failed to come home from a date. The cause of the boy's death was never definitively established. According to the Prosecutor, drowning seems the most likely. But that cannot be determined with certainty based on the autopsy." B. was noted as a suspect after an anonymous caller told the police that "Mr. B. did it", was revealed in the courtroom on Monday. The man from The Hague was arrested in April 2018. 

According to the Public Prosecutor, additional investigations showed that Roy B. may have been able to save Oralndo's life if he had helped the boy or alerted the emergency services. "It is not certain that he would have survived and it is also conceivable that at a successful resuscitation, damage to the brain may have occurred due to lack of oxygen," the Prosecutor said. "But that does not matter for the accusation against the subject."

The trial against B. is expected to start in May or June.