An effort to finally solve the 1999 murder of a teenage girl involves asking some 8,000 Frisian men to give dna samples in the hope of finding a link to her killer, the public prosecution department said on Thursday.
The dna project is the biggest of its kind ever undertaken in the Netherlands.
Marianne Vaatstra, 16, was murdered in Friesland 14 years ago and her body dumped in a field. Despite an extensive police investigation, her killer has never been found.
Television crime journalist Peter R de Vries in May broadcast information about a Playboy cigarette lighter found in Vaatstra’s bag which contains dna traces that match the traces found on the schoolgirl’s body.
Tip offs following the broadcast showed the lighter was on sale in the local area at the time, including in the village of Zwaagwesteinde where she lived.
In June, the department said it planned to launch a major dna check on people living near where Vaatstra was found in the hope of finally finding her killer. That project has now had official approval.
All the men asked to give a dna sample lived within a five kilometre radius of the crime scene in 1999, an area which covers 12 villages. No-one will be forced to comply, the department said.
After the news conference, Marianne’s father Bauke Vaatstra made an emotional appeal for men to take part in the investigation. ‘This is the last means of finding Marianne’s killer,’ he said. ‘Please give your dna.’
The national forensic institute is also carrying out further research in the national dna bank to to try to find relatives of the probable killer.