City council member found killed in his home; Son reportedly in custody
A man found dead in his home in Sint-Michielsgestel on Saturday evening was city council member Jack de Vlieger, several local media outlets reported on Sunday. Police arrested one person in the case, with newspaper Brabants Dagblad saying that the suspect in custody was the victim’s 22-year-old son.
The Noord-Brabant town did confirm that the crime scene is the home of a city council member, and police said they believed the victim was a resident of the home. Neither police nor the municipality confirmed his identity due to the ongoing investigation.
“Mayor Han Looijen is shocked that this has taken place in his municipality. He calls on people not to speculate about the identity of the victim and what has happened, but to wait for the official reporting from the police or the Public Prosecution Service,” the town said in a statement.
Police confirmed that a dead man was found at the home on Regent Smitsstraat at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. First responders were dispatched to the scene, and requested police assistance. Within an hour of the emergency services report, police were already concerned that the victim died under suspicious circumstances.
“Colleagues went to the house on Regent Smitsstraat and indeed found a dead man in the garage of the house. He turned out to have been killed during a criminal act,” police said in a statement. “During the evening a man was arrested for possible involvement in the death of the victim,” police said.
The suspect was questioned on Sunday and was being kept in restricted confinement with no ability to communicate with others except his attorney. No details about the suspect’s identity or role in the crime were revealed. The criminal and forensics investigations were expected to continue through part of Monday, and police said they were hopeful that witnesses or neighbors with security camera footage would come forward to assist them.
Before securing his position on the city council last summer, De Vlieger had served for many years as a labor union leader. His biography stated that he had been a member of the PvdA (Labour) party for over 30 years.
“He was a very honest and committed director. Truly a unionist in heart and soul. It is almost incomprehensible that he is no longer there,” said FNV union spokesperson José Kager to newspaper AD. The union was reportedly shocked by his death.
“He recently let me know that he liked it even more on the council than he had thought,” De Vlieger’s city council predecessor, Jan Pieter Vermeulen, told the newspaper. “He did the job with pleasure and conviction. Bizarre how this could have happened.”