Share article:
Share article:

Belgian coast scoured for missing 14-year-old

The teen reportedly left her home without a phone or a bank card. Credit: Childfocus.be

Police are scouring areas along the Belgian coast in efforts to locate a missing 14-year-old who is thought to have run away from her home in Namur.

Juliette Goormans was reported missing on 17 January, after she left her home in the morning to attend school in Vedrin, some 5 kilometres north of her home in the Walloon capital.

Residents of Nieuwpoort, near the French border, reported seeing the teen in the coastal town, with local police also confirming she was seen eating at a local restaurant, HLN reports.

Restaurant management said they recognised the girl from the photos distributed by police, saying she ate a plate of spaghetti, with residents also reporting seeing onboard the tram.

Authorities believe Goormans ran away from home and took a bus heading to the coast instead of to her usual destination at school.

Goormans is reported to have a slight mental handicap and to have left home without her phone or bank card, Le Soir reports.

Efforts by the local police to locate the missing teen have so far been unsuccessful, with French police also alerted that Goormans appears to be on the move.

“We are not sure that the missing girl is still in our zone,” Ine Deburchgraeve, a spokesperson with the West Coast police, said. “French colleagues have also been informed, in case she went beyond the national border.”

Namur’s public prosecutor’s office is handling the investigation and have released posters and appealed to the public for information.

Missing children’s centre Child Focus said that Goormans is of slight build, had brown eyes and dark brown hair and was last seen wearing pink jeans, a fuschia jacket, a black hoodie, white sneakers and a pink backpack of the brand Kipling.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...