Mother of boy who was kidnapped and murdered found dead in Maastricht home
The mother of Gino van der Straeten, a nine-year-old boy who was kidnapped, drugged, sexually abused and murdered, was found dead in a home in Maastricht on Tuesday evening. Her death was confirmed to L1 by a family spokesperson.
Police confirmed that a body was found in the home on Gildenweg, but officers found no evidence of a crime, a police spokesperson told the regional broadcaster. Police refused to comment further on the death for privacy reasons.
”The Gino case destroyed her,” the family spokesperson said. “This is indescribable,” the family spokesperson told ANP. "Gino's death is still so fresh. What do you do when you hear this? Again a goodbye and a funeral,” she continued. “For the mother’s daughters, the sisters of Gino, this is a very bad time.”
The boy was abducted in June when he visited a playground down the street from his 32-year-old sister. Panic began to set in when he did not return from playing football. Police issued an Amber Alert a day later, and his two adult sisters, family, friends, and volunteers spent days searching for him.
During the investigation, police narrowed their focus on Donny M., a 22-year-old previously convicted of threatening and assaulting two children, and sexually abusing one of them. When they brought him in for questioning, he revealed that Van der Straeten’s body could be found behind a burnt-out house close to M.’s home in Geleen.
M. has been in custody since. The next hearing in his case is set for 5 December in Maastricht, L1 reported. The last time the case was before the court, Van der Straeten’s mother was escorted out of the courtroom after she screamed out while prosecutors detailed the charges against M.
Reporting by ANP