Kidnapped boy may have been killed in Belgium, body dumped in Netherlands
The Belgian authorities believe that 4-year-old Dean Verberckmoes may have been killed in Belgium and suspect Dave De K. brought his body to the Netherlands to dump it. The police performed a trace evidence investigation in the apartment in Sint-Gillis-Waas where alleged kidnapper D K. lived with his Dutch girlfriend Rony W., who is also in custody on suspicion of kidnapping and murder, AD reports.
The authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy done on the 4-year-old Belgian boy's body by the Netherlands Forensic Institute. The results are expected on Thursday. Detectives hope that they'll reveal how and, importantly, when Dean died. Was the child already dead when De K. brought him to the Netherlands and left his body in a parking lot near the Zeeland working island of Neeltje Jans?
De K. will appear in court in Amsterdam on Thursday, where the judge will decide on his extradition to Belgium. Romy will be arraigned in Dendermonde on Thursday.
De K. will be prosecuted in Belgium, the Dutch and Belgian Public Prosecution Services decided. "Because both the victim, the next of kin, and the suspect have Belgian nationality, prosecution by the Belgians is most opportune," the Public Prosecution Service in Breda said. The Dutch part of the investigation will continue, and the results will be passed on to the Belgians.
Dean was taken from the Belgian town of Sint-Niklaas on January 12. The 34-year-old De K. and W were babysitting him while his mom was in the hospital. His mom, Elke, reported him missing over the weekend. De K. was arrested in Meerkerk on Monday. Dean's body was found near Neeltje Jans later that evening. Rony W. was taken into custody on Wednesday.
"I trusted them, and they have betrayed that trust enormously," Elke Verberkmoes said at a vigil for Dean in Sint NIklaas on Tuesday evening. "I hope he never gets out. And he'd better stay away from me too because I don't know what I'd do if I saw him."
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.