The body of an 82-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Bredene at the coast in 2017 has been discovered in the dunes between Bredene and Ostend.
Solange Hennaert’s son, named as Frank P., has confessed to killing her. According to the prosecutor’s office, he had been continuing to collect her pension all the time she was supposedly missing.
The remains were found buried in the sand in a part of the dunes closed to walkers, making it virtually impossible the body might be found accidentally. The discovery was only made after P. told police where he had buried his mother.
P. had for the two years she was missing maintained the story for friends and family that his mother was suffering from dementia and had been admitted to a care home – although he refused to give details. The breakthrough came by accident, when local police called at the house to find out why Hennaert had not come to the commune to collect her new identity card.
When P. explained that his mother had wandered off, investigators became suspicious. There had been no sign of the elderly woman in the meantime, and no indication of payments, withdrawals or purchase or withdrawals – in fact her bank card was still in the apartment.
Police concluded she had died and been hidden, and P. finally admitted he had disposed of the body and directed police to the burial place. He was then charged with fraud for continuing to claim her pension. Only later did he confess to having killed his mother when he struck her and she fell. An autopsy will determine the precise cause of death.