Missing couple probably killed in accident, investigators say

Missing couple probably killed in accident, investigators say
Clément and Paermentier are assumed to have died in a car accident © Belga

A couple who went missing in early January from Huy near Liege most likely died after crashing accidentally into the Meuse river after losing control of their vehicle, police investigating the case said.

The body of Sandra Paermentier, aged 40, was discovered on Friday behind the wheel of the vehicle, which had been pulled from the river. She had been driving the vehicle when it went into the water, and investigators said there were no signs of foul play. Her companion, Stephen Clément, aged 27, is presumed to have been killed in the accident, but his body has yet to be recovered. His wallet, however, was recovered from the car.

Liege prosecutor Damien Leboutte summed up the conclusions to date: “There appear to be no suspect elements, the only certainty being that the car landed in the Meuse at this location on the evening of their disappearance on 7 December. We had thought that Sandra Paermentier was a passenger in the car, but the position of her body in the driver’s position leads us to believe that she was at the wheel at the moment of the accident.”

An autopsy will be carried out today, while an accident expert will examine the vehicle thoroughly on Monday. Investigators favour the accident hypothesis, but no possibility is being ruled out for the time being, Leboutte said.

Clément and Paermentier were last seen alive on 7 December, and last made contact between 22.00 and 23.00 that evening.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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