New tips in 2017 murder; body found in car pulled from Dutch canal

With reporting by Jamie de Geir.

Several new tips in the 2017 murder of Ralf Meinema were reported to police Monday night after the victim’s family issued a 100 thousand euro reward for information that leads to the case’s closure. The money is in addition to the 15 thousand euros committed as reward money by the Public Prosecution Service (OM).

The new leads include one from a man who saw three cars driving near the canal where Meinema’s body was found, unnamed sources told the Telegraaf. One of the cars may have been the his own Mercedes. The body of the 31-year-old was discovered in the trunk of that car.

New information suggesting possible suspects was also reported to authorities. The increase in reward money was announced in a police statement on Tuesday.

Ralf Meinema was a son to a family of farmers. He was born and raised in Klazienaveen, Drenthe. His mother Ingrid, and father Wietze, collected the reward money in the hope that additional media reports would incentivize people with knowledge of the case to come forward.

Meinema’s body was found on March 31, 2017. His Mercedes was dangling along the Stieltjeskanaal between Zandpol and Coevorden in Drenthe. Authorities suspect the perpetrators tried to push the car into the canal, but it got stuck.

In July 2018, the police revealed that they received three anonymous letters in this investigation.

The case was expected to be profiled on television program Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday evening.