400 people attend funeral of 4-year-old Dean found dead in Zeeland
Family and friends said good-bye to 4-year-old Dean Verberckmoes in Verrebroek. The boy was found dead in Zeeland on January 18 after a family friend promised to take care of the child.
Around 250 people attended the funeral in the Sint Laurentiuskerk, according to Hart van Nederland with an additional 150 people watching the funeral from outside on two large screens. Dean's preschool classmates laid stares on the coffin. Dean's mother, Elke Verberckmoes, was too distraught to go to the funeral. "She has hit rock bottom," her family said. The mother is now receiving psychological care. Her sister read a letter out in her name
Two suspects were arrested for the death of the young child. Dave De K. was said to have killed the boy in Belgium and then dumped his body near a parking lot in Zeeland. His Dutch girlfriend, who was also babysitting Dean, was also taken into custody.
The couple babysat the boy several times in the past without incident, yet this time the boy was never returned to his mother. After Verberckmoes reported her son missing over the weekend, De K. led police to his body on the night of January 18.
De K. was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison in 2008 for beating his two-year-old step-son to death. Dean's mother said she was aware that De K. had been to prison before but had no idea for which charges.
The father of the boy murdered in 2008, Mike van Kriekinge, was also present at the funeral. "It reminds me of Miguel's funeral. The old wounds open again when I see this," Van Kriekinge said.