One of Belgium’s most wanted fugitives arrested in Spain
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Credit: Federal police
Spanish police have arrested a Flemish man who was added to Belgium’s list of most wanted fugitives following his escape from the country after being sentenced to prison for murder.
Kevin De Cooman was found and arrested in the coastal town of Torremolinos, just south of Malaga, on Tuesday evening, the federal police announced Wednesday.
De Cooman had been sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of manslaughter but had not been allowed to walk free ahead of his summons to prison because he was not deemed a flight risk.
The Flemish fugitive was found guilty of the 2015 murder of his friend Frederik Heyvaert, whom he shot dead and whose body he hid for days in the trunk of his van, which police discovered only several months after the facts.
Upon his arrest, De Cooman’s statements to police were inconsistent, as he initially said that his victim committed suicide, but later said he had shot him accidentally while showing him his firearm.
De Cooman was suspected to have fled abroad and was added to the Most Wanted List in Belgium on 6 November, after he failed to show up in prison and following reports that he no longer had a fixed address in Belgium.
“Thanks to the support of the Spanish Fugitive Active Search Team [FAST], this fugitive was arrested last night in Torremolinos,” the federal police said in a press release.
His recent capture brings down the count of convicts who remain at large to 17, according to the federal police’s Most Wanted list.