The Peter R. de Vries Foundation has put up a reward of €100,000 for the tip that leads to an arrest in the case of the death of Dutch national in Curaçao.
The body of 53-year-old Mike Venema, who disappeared in 2018, was found in his car at the bottom of the sea at an isolated spot on the island by a local crab fisherman nearly a year later.
Police are ruling out suicide or an accident and are working on the assumption that Venema has been the victim of a crime, they told crime show Opsporing Verzocht.
“We have spoken to the people around him and they said they did not see any signs of depression and that Mike had been full of plans for the future and was thinking of returning to the Netherlands,” a police spokesman told the programme.
The car was found at Shut, an isolated spot with an access barrier. That makes an accident “unlikely”, he said. “If you have bad intentions and you don’t want anyone to know what you’re doing, that’s where you’d go.”
It is possible that people mistakenly thought Venema, who worked as an odd-jobs man, had money. He was wearing a fake Rolex watch and had purchased a new IPhone 5. “Perhaps that is where the motive lies,” the spokesman said.
To qualify for the reward, people with information must come forward before February 29, 2024.
The Peter R de Vries Foundation was set up by crime journalist Peter R de Vries to help solve cold cases by crowfunding reward money. De Vries, who was known for his high profile cases, was murdered in Amsterdam in 2021.
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