Murder suspect’s sons says missing plumber’s body was chopped up and burned

Murder suspect’s sons says missing plumber’s body was chopped up and burned
56-year-old plumber, Johan Van der Heyden, is thought to have been brutally murdered after disappearing in June. Credit: Belgian Federal Police

The underage sons of a Netherlands-based sex worker suspected of murdering a Belgian plumber missing since June have revealed gruesome details about what happened to the victim after he drove across the border.

Dutch and Belgian police have been investigating Johan Van der Heyden’s disappearance for months, since he was not heard of after driving to the Netherlands on 2 June, with his work van last seen on a border highway near the Dutch municipality of Bergen-op-Zoom.

In testimonies given to the police, a 16 and 17-year-old identified as the children of a central suspect in Van der Heyden’s death said the man had been killed and chopped up with his body parts later burned in a campfire, HLN reports.

The plumber’s disappearance sparked a lengthy investigation in both Belgium and the Netherlands, leading to the recent arrest of the two minors in a trailer park in the Netherlands, after the arrest of a woman identified as their mother, 39-year-old Wanda VR, who has been detained since August.

Originally from Lint, near Antwerp, Van der Heyden was reportedly a client of Wanda VR, who worked as a sex worker and whose partner, a 30-year-old man identified as Nicky S., is also arrested as a fellow main suspect in the murder of the Belgian plumber.

The underaged boys’ testimonies, in which they gave detailed accounts of what they believed happened to the suspected murder victim, coincides with a separate testimony of a witness of the site where the victim’s remains were allegedly burned, who said the campsite smelled like “fried bacon” for days.

The motive of the suspects remains so far unclear, with two additional people, identified as a woman and her 18-year-old daughter, detained under suspicion that they may have facilitated the main suspects’ access to a warehouse where their alleged victim’s body was cut up.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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