Man arrested following dna tests to solve 1999 schoolgirl murder

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.

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