Search for student missing since New Year's Eve halted after three days

Search for student missing since New Year's Eve halted after three days
Credit: Federal Police

Efforts to find a 21-year-old student who went missing after attending a New Year's Eve party will be halted "for some days," after three days of unsuccessful searching.

Up to 200 volunteers have been assisting authorities in the search efforts since Wednesday, scouring the area in Vilvoorde, near Zaventem airport, where Frederik Vanclooster was last seen at around 3:00 AM on New Year's Day.

Authorities on Friday morning had said they "really hoped" to find Vanclooster on that day, but announced at around 3:30 PM that they were halting the search "for some days" due to unfavourable weather conditions.

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"It makes no sense to come back tomorrow, because we will see the same thing," Alain Remue of the federal police's missing persons unit told De Standaard. "So we are going to wait a few days and then come back," he added, citing Tuesday or Wednesday as possible days for the search to pick back up.

The fog on Friday meant that a helicopter could not be deployed as planned to assist the sonar boats and diving teams deployed in the Brussels Scheldt canal.

Local and federal police units also searched the area of around where the New Year's Eve party was held, and divers also dug up the bed of the nearby Senne river, Remue said.

On Thursday Remue had said that while they expected to find Vanclooster on Friday, there was little chance that he would be found alive if he had fallen into the water.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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