Flemish firefighter confesses to murder of wife with poisonous beans

Flemish firefighter confesses to murder of wife with poisonous beans
A 33-year-old Flemish firefighter confessed to mixing poisonous castor beans in his wife's food for months. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Flemish firefighter has confessed to killing his wife by mixing poisonous beans into her food for months nearly a year after her sudden death in 2018.

The firefighter, a 33-year-old man from the Flemish village of Lauwe, near the French border, confessed to the deed after denying any involvement in his wife's death for months, according to VRT.

In October 2018, 36-year-old Dana Van Laeken was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, but died shortly after, the outlet reports.

An autopsy revealed that there was ricin in her blood, a highly potent toxic naturally found in castor beans, produced by an ornamental plant called castor oil plant.

The 33-year-old firefighter was detained in February under suspicion of having poisoned his wife, an accusation he denied for months.

The Kortrijk public prosecutor on Tuesday confirmed that the man had confessed to his actions during a new round of interrogations, the outlet reports.

"After a months-long investigation, he confessed that he had been mixing castor beans in his partner's food for months," Tom Janssens of the Kortrijk public prosecutor told the outlet, adding that the victim had "died a horrible death."

The firefighter's motive has not yet been established, HLN reports. The man risks a life-long prison sentence if his case is referred to an assizes court, Belgium's highest criminal courts.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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