Body found in search for boy named in Amber Alert; One in custody
After a suspect was arrested in the investigation into the disappearance of Gino van der Straeten, a body was found this morning at a house in Geleen, police said in a statement. Police believe it is the body of the missing boy, but they were still investigating at the scene late Saturday morning.
Police stopped actively promoting the Amber Alert bulletin on their website after the grim announcement was made.
The news comes after a man from Geleen was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping earlier in the day. Gino disappeared after going to a playground in Kerkrade to play football on Wednesday evening. Originally from Maastricht, he was staying with his older sister due to his mother's illness.
When Gino didn't come home, his sisters immediately began searching for him. “We think he was taken,” one of his sisters, 21-year-old Naomi, told 1Limburg. "He's never run away before. I don't see it as running away because he was playing with some other boys."
Police and teams of volunteers searched for four days for the missing boy and an Amber Alert was issued on Thursday. Searchers found a step scooter that could have belonged to the 9-year-old several kilometers away in Landgraaf on Thursday, as well as another item that could be connected to him, which was found on Vincent van Goghplein in Kerkrade on Friday night.
A press conference will be held later on Saturday to release more details. “We realize that this message will have a huge impact on the family, and everyone who contributed to the search," the police said.