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Breakthrough in cold case from 1999: man arrested for murder of seventeen-year-old woman in Antwerp


In a murder investigation from 1999, the council chamber in Antwerp confirmed the arrest of a 51-year-old man on Monday. He is suspected of the murder of a seventeen-year-old Romanian in Antwerp.

On the night of May 16, 1999, the body of a seventeen-year-old Romanian woman was found in Dries Street in Antwerp. She had been killed violently. “The medical examiner counted about twenty cuts and stab wounds,” the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office reports in a press release. “The investigation revealed that the victim had been seen with her suspected pimp in a nearby café shortly before the facts. Witnesses had seen a man running away. He stayed in our country with a false identity. After the facts he fled abroad.”

DNA profile

Authorities were unable to locate the suspect. The file has thus become a cold case. But advances in forensic science once again required an investigative judge. A glove found at the murder scene made it possible to create a DNA profile of the suspect.

In the search for the possible suspect, the police cooperated with the Albanian authorities and Interpol. “The possible suspect is said to have left Albania in 1993 and arrived in Italy in 2002,” the prosecutor’s office said. “He had again used a false identity for this. In Italy he was checked several times by the police. Based on all new elements, the investigating judge issued a European arrest warrant and the man was notified. Thanks to international cooperation, the man could be located.”


On August 21, 2023, the man was arrested in Rome. After the surrender procedure, he was flown to our country on April 5. The investigating judge in Antwerp arrested him the next day for murder. A comparative DNA test yielded a match. The man appeared before the council chamber for a second time on Monday. His detention has been extended.

The victim’s family has now been informed of the new developments.

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