Remains of missing Belgian plumber likely thrown into Dutch canal
Wednesday, 04 December 2019
56-year-old plumber, Johan Van der Heyden, is thought to have been brutally murdered after disappearing in June. Credit: Belgian Federal Police
The remains of the Belgian plumber Johan van der Heyden, reported missing on 2 June, are likely to have been thrown into the Escaut canal on the Rhine from a bridge in northern Brabant, a spokesman for the Dutch police said on Tuesday evening.
The statement was made during a television programme concerning missing person cases. Following the broadcast of “Opsporing Verzocht” in the Netherlands, the police received nine fresh leads.
Van der Heyden, 56, has not been seen since 2 June when he left his home in Lint (Antwerp province). His van was found empty at Bois-le-Duc in the Netherlands. The vehicle had probably passed through Steenbergen.
Police are taking seriously the theory that the Belgian was near a caravan site and that he was killed violently for money. According to circumstantial evidence, the body was dismembered and burned. The remains were then thrown into the Escaut canal from a bridge in Steenbergen.
In spite of seven Dutch nationals being arrested, it is not yet firmly established what exactly happened to Van der Heyden. The Dutch authorities have offered €15,000 for any information that could throw light on his disappearance.
The case was also brought up on “Faroek”, the programme broadcast on the Dutch-speaking Belgian TV channel VTM with the victim’s sons present.
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.