Police receive over 200 tips about the identities of 22 murdered women in cold cases
The police in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have received more than 200 tips in the search for the identity of 22 murdered women. The tips include the possible names of several victims, Dutch police said on Tuesday. The authorities said it has so far been a "hopeful result," but added that more information is still badly needed.
Last Wednesday, the three police forces teamed up with Interpol to launch the "Identify Me" campaign to encourage the public to help identify 22 girls and women believed to have been murdered and then abandoned in one of the three countries. The list of victims includes nine Dutch cases, and others near the Dutch border.
In Germany, 122 tips were received, police organizations in Belgium received 55, and there were 51 tips in the Netherlands. According to the police, this has already provided useful information. For example, possible names of victims were mentioned and ideas were given about the possible origin of clothing and jewellery. "First, more research will have to be done before conclusions can be drawn from this."
For the campaign, well-known women from the participating countries shot a collective, multilingual video in which they appealed to the public and passed on information about the murdered women. For the Netherlands, singer S10 and actress Carice van Houten participated. The campaign has received a great deal of attention worldwide, according to the police. "You can tell by the information that comes in. Many tipsters come from other parts of the world."
Martin de Wit of the Dutch police, one of the initiators of the campaign, is grateful for all the support and attention. "We see several experts from all over the world who spontaneously offered their help," says De Wit. "The women in the campaign deserve to get their names back, and with the information we are receiving, there is now some hope for several cases."
The criminal investigation department in the three countries will now analyze the information received. It may take some time before any identification is made public, the police said. In any successful identification, next of kin must first be informed. Then the criminal investigators must be given "all the space to conduct the investigation in a careful manner," according to the police.
There is an overview of all cases on Interpol's website, including details, photos and videos. The police are appealing to the public for more information and asked people to continue sharing what they know. Operation Identify Me will also be profiled on the Dutch television program Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday evening.
Reporting by ANP