The Public Prosecution Service believes that Tanja Groen, who has been missing since 1993, may have been placed in a freshly dug grave at a cemetery in Maastricht after her death. The day after her disappearance, on 1 September 1993, the funeral of a man who has nothing further to do with the case took place in the same cemetery.
Forensic investigators are now looking for the remains of more than one person in the grave.
Groen disappeared without a trace on the night of August 31 to September 1, 1993, after she had left on her own on a bike from a party in Maastricht. The then eighteen-year-old student lived in the village of Gronsveld, 25 minutes by bike away.
According to Gertjan Bos of the Public Prosecution Service in Limburg, one of the routes that Groen might have cycled goes past the relevant cemetery of the Roman Catholic Church in the Maastricht district of Heugem.
The cold case team of the Limburg police received a tip last fall that contained information about where Green might be buried. Based on this information, the police started a search in the grave on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Bos cannot answer the question of who came from the tip.
According to the police, the deceased man lying in the opened tomb has nothing to do with the disappearance case, just like his relatives. These relatives volunteered to cooperate in the investigation, even though the request came as a big shock to them.
65Graf in Maastricht investigated in connection with cold case
Parents of Groen previously informed about search
Corrie and Adrie Groen, the parents of Tanja, were informed this week about the search, the parents informed in a communication to the media. According to the parents, the police label the received tip as "very serious".
According to mother Corrie Groen, uncertainty about the fate of her daughter keeps her and her husband busy every day. "We would be very relieved if this uncertainty now comes to an end and we can bring our daughter home."
Adrie Groen: "It is very exciting for us. We hope that we will finally, finally, get answers to our questions. Everything is better than the doubts and the uncertainty with which we have been living for so long."
Previous searches did not produce anything
In recent years there have been several investigations into the disappearance of Groen. In 2012, for example, a search was made in vain in the Maas and two years later an investigation was carried out into bone remains found in a field in Gronsveld, the village where Groen had a room at the time of her disappearance.
If the remains of a woman are found, the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) will conduct further research into this. The results can then take a few more weeks. The police hope to be able to provide more information about the outcome of the search at the end of the day.
See also: This is what we know about the sudden disappearance of Tanja Groen