In a chilling twist, it has been revealed that a man suspected of kidnapping a four-year-old boy was previously jailed for the death of another toddler.
The body of the missing Belgian boy, Dean Verberckmoes, was found in the southern Dutch Zeeland province on Monday after a man, 34, was arrested elsewhere in the Netherlands earlier in the day, police said.
The four-year-old’s disappearance five days ago sparked a massive search and an Amber Alert — commonly used for abducted children — was issued.
The boy’s mum, Elke Verberckmoes, told local publications her son was allegedly abducted by his babysitter, Dave De K., NL Times reports.
She told the Belga news agency the 34-year-old regularly minded Dean and his younger sister.
She said asked De K. and his girlfriend to take care of Dean for the night on Wednesday with the agreement they would drop him off to his grandparent the following day.
After deciding to keep him for another night, Ms Verberckmoes learned on Saturday that De K. had left the home with her son following a fight with her partner, NL Times reports.
The worried mum’s phone calls went unanswered and she filed a missing person's report.
Dutch police launched a massive search after it became known that De K. and the boy may be in the Netherlands.
“The police investigation revealed a possible crime scene on Monday evening,” police said.
“The police helicopter was also deployed to get a clear picture of the area. Around 10pm they came across a child's lifeless body.”
Prosecutors told Belga news agency that De K. served eight years in jail before his release in 2018 for acts of child abuse that led to the death of a two-year-old.
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