Police investigating Belgian serial killer's involvement in Tanja Groen's disappearance
The police are investigating whether Belgian serial killer Marc Dutroux was involved in the disappearance of Tanja Groen in 1993. A spokeswoman for the Public Prosecution (OM) in Limburg confirmed this after reports in De Limburger. The Belgian authorities will compare unknown DNA found in Dutroux’s cellars and delivery vans with Groen’s.
“Last year, Peter R. de Vries declared the year of Tanja Groen,” the OM said. “On June 23, that year of searches, like the action on the Strabrechtse Heide, ended. Nevertheless, the police and OM continued to run through all possible scenarios. The Dutroux scenario is one of them. So in that sense, we are investigating.”
The Belgian judiciary will help with DNA research at the request of the Dutch authorities, Belgian Minister Vincent van Quickenborne said on the talk show Op1 on Thursday. He hopes that “nearly thirty years after the fact, the truth can come to the surface.”
The then 18-year-old student disappeared in August 1993 during the introduction week at Maastricht University. She vanished while cycling to her room in Gronsveld, a village south of Maastricht.
The Peter R. de Vries Foundation said in a reaction that “the police’s cold case team has regularly investigated the possible role of Dutroux in recent years.” “The foundation is unaware of any current developments that led to the investigation being intensified,’ chairman Lex de Jager said. The foundation called it “good” that the cold case team investigates all lines of thought.
Crime journalist De Vries established the foundation shortly before his murder to raise money as a reward for information about Tanja Groen’s disappearance. Although the foundation raised more than a million euros, the case remains unsolved.
Dutroux, now 65, shocked Belgium with the abduction and rape of six girls in the 1990s. He killed four of his victims. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 and will never be eligible for release.
Reporting by ANP