8,000 Men Asked to Provide DNA for 1999 Murder Case in The Netherlands

September 2012
(The following article first appeared in DNA Forensics: News and Information about DNA Databases)

During a press conference in Drachten, in Friesland,  a Northern province of  The Netherlands, the public prosecution’s office announced that approximately 8,000 men have been asked to provide DNA samples to help solve the 1999 murder of Marianne Vaatstra, a 16-year-old girl.  Miss Vaatstra’s body was found in a field in her town, Zwaagwesteinde. All of the men that were asked to give a DNA sample live within three miles of where the murder occurred, an area that encompasses 12 villages. Law enforcement officials also stated that no person asked to give their DNA will be forced to comply. This is the largest DNA Dragnet of its kind ever undertaken in the Netherlands.

The Dutch television crime journalist Peter R de Vries, made a recent documentary about the Vaatstra murder.  De Vries became well-known in the United States through his documentary about the  disappearance of the 18 year-old American student Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005. De Vries was able to secretly video tape Joran Van der Sloot, confessing to another man that he had killed Natalee Holloway.
De Vries produced a TV-documentary this past May giving information about a Playboy cigarette lighter found in Miss Vaatstra’s bag which contained DNA traces that matched the traces found on the schoolgirl’s body. Tips 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.

Marianne Vaatstra

Marianne Vaatstra

After the press conference, Marianne’s father, Mr. Bauke Vaatstra made an emotional appeal for men to take part in the investigation. “This is the last means of finding Marianne’s killer,” he said. “Please give your DNA.”  The National Forensic Institute in The Netherlands, is also carrying out further research in the Dutch national DNA database to try to find relatives of the probable killer. Law enforcement is looking at Familial DNA, as they suspect that the real killer will not come forward to give a DNA sample.

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4 Responses to “8,000 Men Asked to Provide DNA for 1999 Murder Case in The Netherlands”

  1. Vanessa Lynch says:

    Last night police found a so called 100% DNA match on a 44 year old man, who lived 2,5 km from the murder location.
    The man was arrested this morning.

  2. Anne says:

    last night – because of this mass dna research – they found a 100% DNA match on 44 year old guy who lived 2,5 km from the location the girl was murdered. So in this case the research did what it was intented to: to catch the murderer.

  3. Wilma says:

    Won’t it be fantastic if every child that is born,s DNA could go into a database and this data could be captured and stored
    . What is the chances of this ever happening!

    • Roz says:

      As far as I know, this happens with horses? They should do the same with humans… and collect fingerprints to…