Oostburg say their final goodbye to Ichelle van de Velde
The town of Oostburg in Zeeland said goodbye to Ichelle van de Velde on Saturday in the form of a tribute. The 29-year-old businesswoman disappeared from the radar in December last year, after which her body was found in pieces in a canal near Sluis last February.
Ichelle was brought to her final resting place accompanied by a live band and a funeral procession. The coffin was not transported in a funeral car, but in a colored van. The family has consciously chosen to give the day a cheerful undertone. "Ichelle went to a Surinamese funeral last year. They just danced there. She thought that was great", her brother Jeffrey van de Velde says.
"We're going to miss her"
Many villagers were present at the tribute, including fellow entrepreneurs. For the murder of Ichelle, 44-year-old Sandra H., the owner of a shop two doors away, has been arrested. "Everyone is in shock and sympathizes," says one of the entrepreneurs from Oostburg. "It's just a terrible drama." The woman knew Ichelle well. "She was a very nice girl and we will miss her as a colleague and entrepreneur."
Oostburgers who did not know Ichelle personally are also present at the tribute. "A village is a village and everyone sympathizes with each other", one of them explains. "We would very much like to give our condolences to the people here and give a final greeting to Ichelle."
"Nice that they can still say goodbye"
The family thought it was very important that the Signi Search Dogs Foundation was present on Saturday. Due to their hard work, all of Ichelle's body parts were eventually recovered. Esther van Neerbos of the foundation has been closely involved in the search. She is grateful that Ichelle's family invited her today. "We want to pay tribute to Ichelle together with the family. It is nice that they can now say goodbye to Ichelle, because that was of course uncertain for a long time."