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Man arrested following dna tests to solve 1999 schoolgirl murder

Monday 19 November 2012

Police in Friesland have arrested a local man in connection with the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in 1999.

The man was picked up following the mass dna testing of men living close to the field where Marianne Vaatstra's body was found.

According to television crime reporter Peter R de Vries, who has been central to keeping the case open, the dna match is 100%. ‘In ordinary words, you could say ‘the case is solved’', De Vries told Nos radio.


The suspect is said to be a white, 44-year-old man from the village of Oudwoude. ‘It is a farmer with his own company,’ De Vries said.

The Telegraaf later identified the man as Jasper S, who has two children and whose wife is very active in village life. The man's farm is some two kilometres from the field where Marianne's body was found. He was 31 at the time of her death.

According to media reports, he had voluntarily given a dna sample when police made an appeal this summer.


Nearly 6,600 men voluntarily gave a dna sample in a last ditch attempt to solve the murder earlier this year.

The decision to launch the dna appeal came after 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.

Police are due to give a news conference about the arrest later on Monday.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Interesting to think that if he had been sentenced at the time he would have been out of prison by now...

By Geuzen76 | 19 November 2012 9:50 AM

Something I don't understand, or perhaps the information is missing. Why would someone who committed a crime give dna samples for investigation?

By Ezter | 19 November 2012 10:32 AM

Any evil done by man to man must be redress, if not by man then by God, if not now, certainly later, for the victory of evil over good is temporary.

By clif walker | 19 November 2012 11:55 AM

@Ezter, DNA need not be from the person himself but may be his parents, siblings, or children (which will be close to his). Based on that they can narrow the search and finally arrive at the criminal. However to have a 100% match they need his DNA, I agree it is not clear how they had a 100% match.

By expatican | 19 November 2012 11:57 AM

@Ezter: good policing. If everyone is giving DNA samples not doing so might also incriminate. Doing so would buy time at least.

By Puck | 19 November 2012 12:07 PM

@ Ezter: Simple, if you are the only one not giving a sample in the area this would attract some attention from the police. All they need to do is run a DNA test on something you have left around and BINGO.

By Fred | 19 November 2012 12:10 PM

@ Ezter , it is called guilt ...

By Jo | 19 November 2012 1:58 PM

DNA comes in handy and is a good thing, but keep it "voluntarily" BUT not invading ones rights.

By dee | 19 November 2012 2:59 PM

I agree, this guy should have just plead guilty from the beginning instead of volunteering his DNA and wasting everyone's time. Is it un-dutch to admit guilt??

By jau | 19 November 2012 3:29 PM

Ezter he is obviously no genius.

By sam | 19 November 2012 3:32 PM

An American wonders why 6,500+ people would volunteer to be DNA tested, like cattle? Do you really think all that DNA information is going to be thrown away? What a great opportunity to build a database of a bunch of people to either eliminate or help convict in cases of future crimes.

By Gary Alexander | 19 November 2012 3:57 PM

@Ezter 'voluntarily' is probably just missing it's quotes in the article. Police obtain "voluntary information" in pretty forceful ways. Probably also didn't want to be the ONE GUY in a huge area that refused to give a DNA sample...

By Bobb | 19 November 2012 4:04 PM

I was wondering why he gave his DNA too but then I considered he's a business owner in a town with 96% participation and his wife is active in the community. It would have been noticed if he didn't do it. She probably escorted him to the collection site.

By Bored Silly | 19 November 2012 4:04 PM

For the same reason 95% of criminals are even caught in the first place, he was stupid.

By Raziel | 19 November 2012 4:19 PM

@Ezter Then it'll be guilty until proven innocent. It is still possible he is innocent for dna can be transported or planted.

By joe | 19 November 2012 5:23 PM

yes, he would already have been free for having committed this murder, if he had confessed to killing her at the time. This is because of the ridiculous sentencing laws in Holland , where one can simply get away with murder!!!

By Zepster | 19 November 2012 5:27 PM

Yes jau, the Netherlands is the only country in the world where criminals don't plea guilty to their crimes.

By pepe | 19 November 2012 7:02 PM

@jau: on civil law system (adopted throughout most of continental europe), "pleading guilty" just doesn't operate the way it does in case law countries. Actually, there is no "plea" upon indictment, technically speaking. Different system, different operative phases of a criminal case.

By Andre L. | 19 November 2012 7:22 PM

So he is a match for DNA from a lighter found in her purse? Any possibility she was in a bar and was given the lighter but someone else killed her? Is there no other DNA on the body?

It just seems way too easy.

By Hans Stuk | 19 November 2012 7:34 PM

@Gary These people offered their DNA to help try and reveal a murderer amongst them. Who knows what he has been up to in the last 13 years, what he could do to another girl in their area or elsewhere? It's called responsibility, empathy and civility. This is an area where crime rates are low and their lives were overshadowed by a horrendous unsolved crime. This was the least they could do. The Dutch government and police will have the decency and are law abiding enough to discard the DNA samples that were taken after this one time use.

By MPKNY | 19 November 2012 8:02 PM

An assertion that this suspect is guilty based on this kind of genetic dragnet is a textbook example of the prosecutor's fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecutor's_fallacy). With the kind of genetic testing in use by law enforcement and a sample size this large, even under the assumption that everyone in the sample is innocent the probability of finding at least one match is quite high. A genetic match after this kind of search is not strong evidence of guilt. It's just like winning the lottery---the probability of winning the lottery by chance is very low, but when enough people play the probability that at least one person will win is high, and of course we don't charge every lottery winner with cheating!

By Guy Incognito | 19 November 2012 8:19 PM

Thanks for all remarks!
Since so many samples have been given, I wonder how many DNA haplogroups have been found.

By Ezter | 19 November 2012 8:48 PM

And when comes the apologies from the village to the asylum seekers nearby who have continuously been convicted to have a rapist amongst them?

By Pee-Tor | 20 November 2012 6:53 AM

I don't see how finding DNA from the lighter matching DNA on the girl to be conclusive of the murder. All this suggests is that the man must of had contact with her at the time. Without more evidence to confirm the murder this is just the first clue to start the investigation.

By Boris P | 14 February 2013 12:34 PM

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