5 years, 1 month and 4 days. This is the time between Eline’s death and today. Today, we had a new meeting with the Dutch public attorney in Maastricht. After 1.5 hours we parted ways and with we, I mean my parents, sister, and our lawyer Arthur van der Biezen, deputy head DA George Rasker and DA Olav Beckers.
On December 8th, 2009 we learned, many hours after the fact, that Eline had died. A suicide, we were told. After talking to various people and institutions it became apparent that the conclusion of suicide has little support by the facts. More surprising, many facts could not have been known by the police and public attorney because they never investigation and quizzed various people in Mart’s and Eline’s lives.
On October 29th, 2010 our lawyer Van der Biezen filed a request with the public attorney to re-open the case. A response by head DA Annemarie Penn-te Strake was written up on November 24th, 2010: request denied because they have conclusive evidence that supports their conclusion of suicide. Their response did not satisfy us the least bit and we wrote another request to the public attorney to re-open Eline’s case. Again, our request was denied. And again we argued in a letter that their conclusion of suicide was not supported by the facts.
Finally, we learn that the public attorney is open for a dialogue. On August 19th, 2014 we meet in Maastricht. The public attorney agrees to review the existing files, but they stress that the case will not be re-opened. Today, January 12th, 2015, in a new meeting, the public attorney (deputy head DA George Rasker and DA Olav Beckers) let us know that, after a long internal review process, various pieces of forensic evidence still need to be processed. In fact, the blood that was found in the house at Kloosterstraat 4a, where Eline and Mart lived, was gathered but not investigated. The investigation in the house was done by forensic investigators under strict supervision of an unknown examining judge and the DA Oelmeijer-Naus according to the letter of then head DA Annemarie Penn-te Strake. In other words, the very thorough investigation we were told to have occurred by head DA Annemarie Penn-te Strake and DA Emma Oelmeijer-Naus was not that thorough after all.
The new investigation will take a look at the origin of the blood spatters and which scenario fits best with these blood spatters. Afterall, the autopsy report of Frank van de Goot (NFI) clearly mentioned that homicide cannot be excluded.
This is of course encouraging news for us, especially in light of other recent similar cases: Michelle Mooij, Iris van den Hooff, and Talitha. In all cases a similar thing happened: suicide was quickly suspected and subsequent forensic investigation was suspended because suicide is not a case for the public attorney, as verbalized by public attorney spokesperson Désirée Wilhelm.
Michelle’s case was re-opened after her family went to court to force the public attorney to investigate her death and a trial is now pending. Talitha’s family received a letter last week where the head DA Roger Bos apologized for mishandling their daughter’s case. Now, we learn that the public attorney will investigate 5 year old evidence, although they still stress that the case has not been re-opened. For now, the public attorney still assumes that Eline committed suicide. Only in the case of Iris is her family still waiting to hear something positive of the public attorney in Groningen.