Suspect in Amber Alert abduction, murder to be arraigned Tuesday in Roermond
The man suspected of involvement in the death of Gino van der Straeten, a nine-year-old boy, will be arraigned in Roermond on Tuesday, confirmed a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service in Maastricht on Monday. During an arraignment hearing, a magistrate examines the case file and determines whether the pre-trial detention of a suspect will be extended.
In addition to involvement in the boy's death, the 22-year-old man from Geleen, Donny M., is also suspected of kidnapping Van der Straeten. The boy was last seen on a football field in Kerkrade on Wednesday evening, where he played football with some other children before disappearing. Gino had been staying with an older sister in Kerkrade for a week instead of at home in Maastricht, because his mother was ill.
After his disappearance, a few dozen people helped the family search for him in Kerkrade into the early morning hours on Thursday. The police distributed an Amber Alert later in the day, indicating his life was believed to be in imminent danger. Hundreds of people searched for him for days in Kerkrade and Landgraaf, where a child’s scooter was found that looked similar to the one Van der Straeten had been using.
The case developed and police focused on Donny M., who was taken into custody early Saturday morning. With his statement, police were able to find Van der Straeten’s body a short distance from M.’s home. The body was found behind a burned-out house in Geleen.
Donny M. was being kept in restrictive custody, which means that he was not permitted to speak with anyone other than his legal representation. Moreover, all parties involved, including the police, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, were forbidden from releasing more information about the case at least during the initial pre-trial detention period.
Reporting by ANP