Search for the child murderer: dna mass test has begun

search for the child murderer: dna mass test has begun

Who the murderer of little nicky verstappen is, dutch police still don’t know almost 20 years after the crime. Now they are making a new attempt to find him in the area on the border with germany, not far from aachen.

In landgraaf, the netherlands, a pending dna mass test began this saturday, a police spokeswoman confirmed. 21,500 people between the ages of 18 and 75 are called upon to voluntarily provide a DNA sample.

The tests are expected to run until mid march. The samples are matched with the DNA trace of an unknown man at the child’s body. In august 1998, the eleven-year-old boy disappeared without a trace from a camp in the border region of brunssummerheide – the dutch vacation region lies northwest of aachen. Police found the body the next day. Although the cause of death could not be clearly established, investigators assume murder.

The police have set up seven drop-off points for DNA tests. One of the seven points, the old racecourse in heerlen, was visited by about 40 participants by saturday afternoon. There was a lot of applause for the police action: "of course i have nothing to fear, i was only 7 at the time," says jim wolzels (27), for example, "nevertheless, it’s good that the search is continuing". "I hope that the perpetrator will still be caught – if he is still alive," says marco scalda (42).

According to the assumptions of the police, the perpetrator probably knew his way around the nature reserve brunssummerheide and could have lived within a radius of five kilometers – so theoretically also on german territory. But dutch investigators see no legal basis to extend the test to german territory – so testing is done on the dutch side only.

To increase the chances of a new investigation, the dutch police are now using a special method to search for male relatives of the man who left the trace on nicky. Investigators hope to identify a possible uncle or grandson of the perpetrator with the so-called DNA relationship test.

The likelihood of a hit is said to be increased by the wider spread of the relationship survey. Distant relatives or relatives born after the crime in 1998 also have DNA matches to the DNA trace left behind with the victim.

According to the investigators, this is the biggest, but also the last chance to solve the death of nicky. The target group includes mannerers who lived or still live in the study area in august 1998.

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