Missing plumber's remains found hidden in concrete block dumped in canal

Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform
Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform. Aug. 20, 2015JoeppoulssenDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The police found human remains in a mixing bucket filled with concrete that was discovered in the Scheldt-Rijn canal in Nieuw-Vossemeer on Thursday. The remains were identified as Johan van der Heyden, a Belgian plumber who has been missing since June 2nd last year, the police said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The police found the container in the waterway last week after "rumors" that the man's body was cast in concrete and dumped in the Scheldt-Rijn canal. 

Over the past months, seven suspects were arrested in connection with Van der Heyden's disappearance. Four have since been released, but are still considered suspects. A Dutch woman from Zoersel, who had a relationship with Van der Heyden, is one of the suspects in this case. 

The police think that the perpetrators tried to extort money out of the Belgian plumber, "possibly assuming that the victim was wealthy". He was held hostage in his own van for some time before being killed, the police believe, according to NU.nl. 

"Presumably some of the suspects wanted to put pressure on the Flemish plumber to get him to give money," the police said, according to the newspaper. "From there the situation may have escalated when it turned out that the victim was not that rich at all and that there was actually nothing to be gained from him."