Suspect in 9-year-old Gino's abduction, death did not receive the appropriate care
Donny M., the man suspected of abducting, sexually abusing, and killing 9-year-old Gino van der Straeten in June last year, did not always receive the appropriate care, the Supervision on the Social Domain (TSD) concluded. While the involved institutions mostly worked according to the guidelines, their mutual cooperation and coordination left much to be desired, the TSD said in a report on Thursday.
For example, an initial assessment that M. was at low risk of committing a sex crime again was just accepted and passed up the chain. And involved institutions didn’t recognize underlying patterns in M.’s behavior, the TSD said. The Pieter Baan Center recently concluded that there was a good chance M. would strike again if he was left untreated.
Because Donny M. was previously convicted of a sexual and violent offense in 2017, various organizations and professionals from the criminal, healthcare, and social domains were involved in his care. The TSD, a partnership of four government inspectorates, investigated 14 organizations and care providers, including forensic youth mental health care, youth probation, the municipality of Maastricht, and sheltered housing.
The TSD concluded that several involved parties mainly focused on their own tasks instead of the overarching care for the suspect. The institutions involved did not adequately share information, and their mutual cooperation left some things to be desired, the TSD said. It was also not clear who was in charge of the joint care and support, and M.’s transfers and aftercare didn’t always go well.
“For example, at the time of the first transfer, the impression arose among the care and social workers that the risk of a repeat sexual offense was low. This low recidivism risk was adopted and repeated several times in the chain” while essential knowledge that could have changed that assessment faded into the background, the TDS said.
“Underlying patterns in M.’s behavior were also not sufficiently recognized,” the TDS said. “These shortcomings have reinforced each other on several occasions. The guidance, care, and support for M. were therefore not always appropriate.”
The TSD stressed that even if the involved institutions all acted perfectly, there are no guarantees that Gino’s abduction, abuse, and murder could have been prevented.
Gino disappeared on June 1 while playing in a park near his sister’s house in Kerkrade. The police issued an Amber Alert, and officers, family, and volunteers spent days searching for the boy. Early on June 4, the police arrested Donny M. They found Gino’s body near M.’s house in Geleen after the man told the police where to look.