Dutch police are investigating the deaths of two 14-year-old girls whose bodies were found in ditches 20 kilometres apart at the weekend.
Police first said there was no connection between the two deaths but now say they do not know if there is a link. ‘That is a question we are asking ourselves. The police are considering various scenarios and will investigate links that are found,’ they said in a statement on Sunday evening.
The body of Romy Nieuwburg was found in water in a nature reserve in Achterveld, east of Amersfoort on Friday afternoon, some two hours after she left school to cycle home. She had been the victim of a crime, police said.
Her body was found close to the cycle path she would have taken home by a passerby out walking his dog.
The second body was found in a ditch on the edge of the De Kronkels industrial estate in Bunschoten on Sunday by a passerby. Savannah Dekker had been reported missing after failing to return home from school on Thursday evening.
Police have not said anything about the cause of death but did say the girl’s black bike had been found in Hoogland, on the outskirts of Amersfoort on Friday. It had been locked up close to a bus stop.
Police are also investigating several reports that two men in a small black car had been harassing girls in the Bunschoten area last week. In one case, a 17-year-old girl was followed by a car but drove off when she approached someone collecting money for charity.
Other reports were made in Spakenburg and Soest, all close to Amersfoort.
‘We are taking the reports extremely seriously and would ask anyone with information to contact the police,’ a spokeswomann for the Midden-Nederlands police force said.
The mayor of Bunschoten has made an urgent appeal to families to keep a watch on their children following the discovery of Savannah’s body.
‘Young people would be wise to stay together and not go off to isolated places alone,’ Melis van der Groep said in a video message.