News

Jos Brech arrested in Spain for 1998 murder of Nicky Verstappen after 20-year manhunt

Dutch investigators say they finally tracked down a man suspected of killing an 11-year-old boy in the Netherlands twenty years ago. 

Jos Brech, 55, who was publicly named as the suspected killer last week, was apprehended by Spanish police about 50 km (30 miles) north of Barcelona on Sunday.

Dutch detectives said the outdoor survival expert’s DNA matched traces on the body and clothing of Nicky Verstappen, who was found dead on Aug. 10, 1998 near a summer camp in the Dutch countryside from which he had gone missing the previous night.

The match was established in June this year, police said, using DNA provided by relatives of the suspect, who had reported him missing in April. Police went public with their information last week, publishing the man’s picture and full name.

"Spanish police were able to arrest him after someone recognised the man from the picture," prosecutor Jan Eland said on Monday. Brech will be extradited to the Netherlands, he said, but it is unclear how long that will take. 

Over the years, police have made several wrongful arrests in the case, and even opened up the grave of one of the supervisors of the summer camp.

A Spanish court on Monday said the Dutchman had accepted extradition. He would be kept in detention "to ensure that the extradition is effective".

Earlier this year, over 15,000 men who lived near the place where the boy was found responded to a request for samples of their DNA, but also without success.

Brech was an instructor at the summer camp in The Netherlands where Verstappen went missing in 1998. 

He was stopped and questioned by police the day after the killing but was not considered a suspect. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *