Wivinne Marion, the emergency room doctor whose body was found in the boot of a car dragged from the River Sambre last week, was dead before the car was pushed into the water, an autopsy has revealed. Dr Marion, aged 42 and mother of two children, was buried yesterday in her home village of Boninne. Meanwhile the man in connection with her death, 29-year-old Xavier Van Dam, saw the arrant for his detention extended by a month.
An eye-witness, a farmer working in his fields, saw the murder take place. Van Dam was on top of the victim, in a posture which suggested he was strangling her. The witness reported the incident to police, who later spotted the car, but then lost track of it. It was later recovered from the water.
An autopsy has now revealed that the victim was dead when she was thrown into the boot of the car, and died of strangulation rather than drowning.
Van Dam, meanwhile, has a record of violence against women. In 2015 he was sentenced to 120 hours of community service for an incident in 2012 where he entered a neighbour’s home and attacked her, forcing her to flee from a first-floor balcony with her two children. He also has several other convictions for assault and possession of drugs.
Van Dam claims he remembers nothing of the attack on Dr Marion. The two had never met before; it appears she became a target simply because she crossed his path at a particular moment. According to his lawyer, he does not deny the charges, but recalls nothing between visiting a night-club the previous evening and coming to to find he was covered in blood, from the assault on Dr Marion. He then panicked and pushed the car into the river close to his home village of Flawinne.