Police officers and detectives are routinely tasked with the near-impossible job of finding out why a crime took place. These dedicated individuals spend their lives trying to help the families and friends of homicide victims find much-needed closure, but it rarely plays out perfectly.
In 1995, the body of Nicole Van Den Hurk, a teenager from the Netherlands, was found murdered on the side of a road. Police launched an investigation, but they were never able to find a suspect.
Two decades later, however, startling new evidence was brought to police, and they hoped it would lead them to the answer they had spent years searching for…
Nicole’s mother had some emotional issues throughout the marriage, and in 1989, Angelika and Ad divorced. Surprisingly, Ad won custody of Nicole. This was a blessing in disguise because, six years later, Angelika took her own life. Would Nicole ever be able to resume a normal existence?
In 1995, 15-year-old Nicole landed a holiday job near her grandmother’s house working at the Woensel shopping center in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Nicole left her grandmother’s home on her bike at 5:15 p.m. for her 6 p.m. shift one Friday afternoon, but she never got there…
Nicole’s grandmother phoned the police when her granddaughter never returned home that night. The next day, police found Nicole’s bike abandoned by a nearby river, and soon after, officers launched a full-scale investigation to find the missing teen.
After Nicole’s funeral, which was held shortly after her body was discovered, the local office of prosecution determined the cause of death was most likely internal bleeding caused by a stab wound to the chest.
Unfortunately, a proper autopsy was never performed because Nicole’s family wanted her buried quickly. This meant police were going to have a very difficult time finding her killer.
He told police Nicole had somehow been involved in the drug trade as well, and the people involved in her murder had forced her to smuggle heroin to an undisclosed location.
Years went by and answers seemed to evade police everywhere they checked. Then, in 2011, Nicole’s stepbrother, Andy, confessed on Facebook that he was the one who killed her. Police were in shock. They immediately had Andy, who was living in England at the time, extradited to the Netherlands after being arrested by British officers.
And his plan worked! Although officers were irate that they wasted their time with Andy, Nicole’s remains were exhumed shortly after, and sure enough, forensic experts found foreign DNA on them. This presented many more potential possibilities…
The case went to court soon after the DNA match was found. The defense attorney for Jos argued he could not have possibly been the main suspect since there was DNA from two other men also found on Nicole’s remains, including her ex-boyfriend.
He also argued that Nicole had consensual sex with Jos and was possibly even pregnant at the time of her death. These outlandish claims caused the entire trial to come to a halt while police had to investigate these new potential possibilities.
The court didn’t buy into what Jos’s attorney was saying, and on November 21, 2014, Jos De G. was found guilty of rape and sentenced to five years in prison. While this was a win for police, it still didn’t solve Nicole’s murder. Did Jos De G. also murder her after the rape? Unfortunately, the world may never know.
It’s so sad that a final answer was never found for Nicole’s family. They can take some comfort in the fact that Jos De G. was put behind bars for rape, but for the rest of their lives, they’ll wonder who killed their innocent girl.
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