Body of missing girl found in mother's ex-partner's home

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A 26-year-old man will appear in court on Wednesday after the body of a missing 10-year-old girl was found in his flat.

The man was arrested following a search of his home in Rotterdam’s Boergoensestraat on Sunday evening by police teams looking for Jennefer van Oostende, who was reported missing 24 hours earlier.

Police had visited the home of the man, an ex-boyfriend of Jennefer’s mother, that afternoon, but did not have sufficient cause to search the property.

But after listening to intercepted phone calls, they went back to the house, arrested the suspect and discovered the girl’s body.

The local community in Charlois, in the south of the city, was plunged into shock by the discovery, with more than 100 people filing in to a neighbourhood briefing in the Filadelfiakerk on Monday evening.

The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who was at the meeting, said afterwards: “The impact is great, the anger is great. These events have affected people very deeply.”

Jennefer’s classmates at De Koppeling, the special school she attended in the south of Rotterdam where a memorial was set up with her photograph, were said to be angry and distraught at the news.

The outcome of the search has also raised questions about the Amber Alert system for missing children in the Netherlands.

A national alert was issued at 10pm on Sunday, 24 hours after Jennefer’s mother reported her missing and not long before police raided the flat where she was found.

Prior to that police had distributed flyers around the neighbourhood, issued local text message alerts and asked taxi drivers and public transport workers to keep an eye out for the missing girl.

Police have so far released no details about the circumstances in which Jennefer died or whether other children were in the house at the time. A postmortem is under way.

Source: De Volkskrant: Politie bevestigt: Gevonden lichaam is Jennefer
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