Belgian documentary could help find body in 2011 murder case

Belgian documentary could help find body in 2011 murder case
Britta Cloetens, who was murdered in 2011 but whose body has never been found © VTM

A TV documentary about the case of a woman who went missing in 2011 has brought in five tips from the public, one of which police described as “very concrete”.

Britta Cloetens, then aged 25, was last seen entering a Honda dealership in Wilrijk near Antwerp in April 2011. One of the car salesmen was a suspect, and later confessed. He was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison.

But he has never revealed the whereabouts of Britta’s body, other than to say he left her in the Ardennes.

Now the VRT has made a three-part documentary about the case, the first part of which was shown this week.

That was followed by five calls to the federal police’s missing persons unit offering information. One was described by police as “very concrete”.

That information was specific to around the time of the disappearance,” an officer from the unit told VRT News. “Someone thinks he remembers something, and it is always worthwhile to follow up on tips.” Police hope the information of offer may lead to Britta’s remains.

Britta’s parents went to court in October 2015 to seek closure by having their daughter officially declared dead, after continuing to receive mail for her from organisations like her former health insurer. During the trial of her killer, Tijl Teckmans, they had pleaded for him to reveal her last resting place, but he refused.

According to Alain Remue, the veteran policeman who heads the missing persons unit, Teckmans is exercising the one last vestige of power left to him as he faces a lifetime in prison.

I’m afraid he’s the type of murderer who gets a kick out of having the final say,” Remue said. And he called on Teckmans to find in himself “the last shred of humanity” and reveal Britta’s whereabouts – so far in vain.

The documentary, meanwhile, included details of an interview in which Teckmans admitted killing Britta, his manner chillingly matter-of-fact. The VRT revealed that the video had been included in the programme with the killer’s permission.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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