DNA testing helps arrest suspect in 20-year-old murder case

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Madrid, Aug 27 (IANS) A suspect in the 1998 murder of a Dutch boy has been arrested in Spain with the help of mass DNA testing, the Spanish police announced on Monday.

Nicky Verstappen, 11, was found dead near a campsite in the southern Dutch province of Limburg on August 10, 1998, and the only piece of evidence police were able to find was some unidentified DNA on his body.

“A survival expert, who is the alleged perpetrator of the sexual attack and murder of the 11-year-old boy, has been found on a mountain near Castellerçol,” the Spain’s police said on Twitter.

In May 2017, the Dutch police launched a mass DNA testing campaign in Limburg to try to finally identify the alleged perpetrator, Efe news reported.

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Some 14,000 men took part and though none was the suspect, the police were recently able to identify a 55-year-old man named Jos Brech through the DNA of a relative, who was a close match.

Brech was believed to be on the run, so, on last Wednesday, the police released images of the suspect to the public and a Dutch citizen who recognized him reported him to authorities on Sunday.

The Spanish police were able to arrest Brech within hours after having tracked him down to a tent in a wooded area near a house where he had been seen.

Spanish authorities expected to hand the suspect over to counterparts in the Netherlands.

–IANS

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