Body of missing pregnant Univ. Amsterdam student likely found after confession
Human remains believed to be the body of 22-year-old Sumanta Bansi were found in Hoorn on Tuesday, four years after she went missing from the Noord-Holland city. During a hearing, the suspect convicted of her murder confessed about the whereabouts of her body. Bansi was a biomedical sciences student at the University of Amsterdam who whose absence from her classes and appointments was largely disregarded until nine months later, when her family was assisted by a Hindu priest in reporting her missing.
Bansi disappeared without a trace on 18 February of that year when she was nine weeks pregnant. She moved from Wageningen, Suriname to study at the University of Amsterdam in 2016, and began living with Manodj B. and his family in Hoorn a year later. She and the married man started a secret affair behind his family’s back. Before she went missing, she had recently learned that B. impregnated her for the second time since they began their relationship. When she learned she was pregnant the first time, the family convinced her to get an abortion. This time she was determined to keep the child.
B. has always publicly maintained his innocence in the murder. The court determined it was proven that Manodj B. committed the crime, in part based on conversations police observed in which he stated he killed Bansi with a knife. He was also the last known person to see her live. Her murder was not proven to be premeditated. His 65-year-old father, Dwarka B., was also a suspect in the case. He was acquitted at the Prosecutor’s request because there wasn’t enough evidence against him.
The surprise confession on Tuesday
Even though her body had not been found, Manodj B. was convicted of killing her and disposing of her corpse. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in July, which matched the incarceration period demanded by the Public Prosecution Service (OM).
A courtroom session Tuesday morning regarding B.’s appeal led to the surprise announcement. Theo Hiddema, who represents B., was joined by De Telegraaf in pressing the man to reveal the location of Bansi’s to give closure to her family. He confessed while under questioning, the newspaper said.
Immediately afterwards, detectives escorted B. to a location in Hoorn where human remains were found. His attorney and her parents were expected to give statements later in the day.
“The police searched a business park in Hoorn this afternoon in connection with the disappearance of Sumanta Bansi,” the Public Prosecution Service said in a statement. “A conversation with the suspect yielded new information. This afternoon, therefore, a search was conducted at this location. Police investigators found human remains there.”
Prior to the trial, detectives had been searching elsewhere for her body based in part on mobile phone activity. Those locations included the Robbenoordbos, a forest area near the Aflsluidijk, and also De Hulk nature reserve.