The family of murder victim Julie Van Espen have announced they will be joining the criminal case as civil parties, which gives them important access to the case files as the investigation continues. “It won’t be easy to read all of that,” said the family’s lawyer John Maes. “But it’s important to know the truth.” The authorities have now turned over Julie’s remains to the family, to allow them to organise her funeral.
Julie went missing on Saturday evening while cycling to meet friends in Antwerp. She was later found dead in the Albert Canal at Merksem on the outskirts of Antwerp. Soon after her disappearance, a man seen carrying her bicycle basket was filmed near the scene. He was arrested for questioning, and later confessed to killing Julie without intending to.