Dutch murder suspect committed suicide in Belgian jail
Those in the Netherlands in life threatening danger should immediately dial 112 for emergencies, and anyone suffering from depression or contemplating suicide can call 113 Zelfmoordpreventie at any time by dialing either 113 or 0800-0113, or by visiting 113.nl.
Eric V. (57), who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend Marly Schapendonk (35) and her cousin Martie last year in her apartment in the Belgian municipality of Kinrooi, committed suicide in a Belgian prison, AD reported on Monday. The man from Eindhoven took his life on Marly’s birthday.
His suicide was confirmed by his lawyer and the Public Prosecution Office in Limburg. Marly's brother expressed mixed feelings to the newspaper, noting the relief of not fearing V. anymore but lamenting that he will never face a trial. “It's the easy way out. He will never face a proper sentence,” he said. V. was awaiting trial for the double murder, which was set to take another year and a half.
He and Marly were in a relationship for five years, but after their breakup, he began stalking her with phone calls and messages. Feeling threatened by her ex-boyfriend, Marly approached the police multiple times in both the Netherlands and Belgium, even hinting at him possessing a firearm. Although the police in Eindhoven intended to inspect his residence the morning before the murder, they could not due to insufficient evidence.
Concerned for her safety, Marly had family members stay with her at night in her apartment in the Belgian municipality of Kinrooi, at the border with the Dutch province of Limburg.
On the night between July 11 and 12, 2022, taking advantage of an open back door, Eric V. entered Marly's home and fatally shot her and her cousin Martie, who was with her that night. Eric V. was arrested the following day in Eindhoven, claiming no memory of the event. Despite his efforts to remain in the Netherlands, citing health issues, he was extradited to Belgium.
It was revealed after the murder that the man from Eindhoven had a history of stalking. Multiple ex-girlfriends in the Netherlands had alerted the police about his prolonged harassment, with one discovering a GPS tracker in her vehicle.
The extent of the police's awareness when Marly approached them before the event remains unknown.“The situation was not taken seriously enough, much more could have been done. And I think a lot went wrong in the communication between the police in Belgium and the Netherlands as well," Marly’s brother said.