Police were observing Romanian girl murder suspect when he drove at a lorry

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutchman wanted in connection with the murder of an 11-year-old girl in Romania was being monitored by police when he drove his car into a lorry and died, the public prosecution department confirmed on Tuesday.

Joop Visscher, 47, was killed on Monday afternoon, after Romania had requested an international arrest warrant.

However, the department denied that Visscher’s car was being chased, and said his movements were being observed from a distance. ‘Nothing would indicate he was aware of being followed,’ the department said.

Visscher, a freelance IT specialist, flew out of Romania on Saturday, a day after the girl disappeared on her way home from school and a day before her body was discovered in a field. She had been strangled with her own clothes and possibly sexually assaulted.

The Romanian authorities are now checking Visscher’s movements on each of the four times he had visited Romania in the past few years, Romanian media said. There are suspicions that he may have left more victims, given his record and his frequent visits, officials said.

He was interviewed by telephone by police after the girl disappeared because she was spotted in a car he was driving but is now thought to have been in the Netherlands at that moment.

His home outside the village of Beers, Brabant, was searched by police on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a former girlfriend has told local broadcaster Omroep Brabant that she had been on the verge of marrying Visscher eight years ago but cancelled the wedding when he confessed about his past.

She did not go into details about his crimes, but did say he had convictions for multiple sex crimes. The public prosecution department has refused to comment on the claims.

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