A man has been arrested and charged with murder after the tied-up body of a woman was found in the boot of a car dragged from the River Sambre in Bonnine near Namur. The woman is reported to have been jogging when she was accosted by the suspect. She as attacked and apparently strangled. Later she was thrown into the boot of the car, and at some point tied up.
The attack was witnessed by a farmer working in his fields nearby. On hearing a scream he approached and saw the man sitting on the woman, attempting to strangle her. He then dragged her to the car and threw her in the boot.
The farmer alerted the police, who put out a bulletin to patrols to search for the car. It was later dragged from the river. Whether she was already dead when the car went into the water has yet to be determined by an autopsy report.
The victim was named as 42-year-old Wivinne Marion, a doctor in the neo-natology unit at the regional hospital in Namur, dealing with newborn babies. When she failed to return from her regular morning run on Thursday, her family raised the alarm. She was also the mother of two children.
Detectives said there was no evident motive for the attack. Dr Marion was “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” they said. Police are working on several hypotheses – that the suspect, named as Xavier V., hit her with his car and was trying to dispose of the evidence; that there were words between the two and V., returned home from a night out, lashed out in anger; or that this was an attempted sexual assault gone wrong when Dr Marion fought back. The autopsy, as well as trace evidence from the body and the car, should help to clarify the details.
The suspect in the meantime is being detained on charges of homicide and illegal imprisonment. The man, aged in his thirties, is reported to have been investigated several years ago for an attack on a woman, but was not prosecuted.