Investigation into couple's death expanded after son pulled from Flemish river 

Investigation into couple's death expanded after son pulled from Flemish river 
A body pulled from the river Scheldt was revealed to be that of the son of a woman found dead with her husband in their home. Credit: Google Street View

The presumed murder of a couple found dead in their home took a mysterious turn and sparked a wider investigation after it was revealed that a body pulled lifeless from a river belonged to the deceased woman's son.

The couple, a 69-year-old man and 66-year-old woman, were found dead in their home in Thimougies, near the western city of Tournai on Friday, according to De Standaard.

The couple were identified as Henry Vanlerberghe and Lena Vangheluwe. They ran a grocery shop in Kluisbergen and moved Thimougies after they retired, where they had been living for 15 years.

A contractor working nearby alerted police, who found the woman lying on the floor severely beaten. Public prosecutors in Tournai established that both victims had died of stab wounds, HLN reports.

The contractor was reportedly working on the construction of a new residence for the couple on the same street, and thought it strange when he saw no sign of the man on Thursday, who media reports say had the habit of bringing workmen a daily cup of coffee.

Local prosecutors said no arrests had been made so far and that an ongoing investigation is taking multiple theories into account, but has ruled out natural death or suicide, a spokesperson with the local public prosecutor Frédéric Bariseau said in a statement to HLN.

An acquaintance of the woman told the outlet that she and her husband still had "so many plans," and that they were excited to move into their new home.

A separate investigation launched after a corpse was found on a river on Thursday revealed the body was that of the woman's son, from her first marriage.

The body was found by a fisherman near a water purification station and pulled from the river Scheldt in Oudenaarde, some 30 kilometres north of Thimougies.

With the investigation ongoing, the local public prosecutor refused to say whether there were any possible links with the couples' deaths in Thimougies, and said that there were so far no indications of "malicious intent" in the son's death, De Standaard reports.

An autopsy will be performed on the son's body as the investigations continue to determine if there are any possible links between the three deaths.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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