In 1995, Nicole van den Hurk was murdered. At the time, there were no leads and no suspects. She was just 15 years old when she was killed, and her body was found six weeks after she went missing.
This is her story.
Nicole van den Hurk was born in July 1980 to her mother Angelika Tegtmeier. Her father, Ad van den Hurk, was a Dutch singer.
In 1981, it was determined that Ad van den Hurk was in fact not Nicole's biological father. It was a friend of Tegtmeier who was married to someone else when he slept with Nicole's mother.
In 1982, Nicole's birth certificate was changed to reflect her biological father. However, she and her mother still moved from Germany to the Netherlands to be with Ad. Ad was legally recognized as the girl's father, while her biological father paid monthly alimony. As for Ad, he remained "firmly convinced" that he was Nicole's biological father.
In 1989, Tegtmeier and van den Hurk divorced, with Ad winning custody of Nicole. She moved in with her dad and later his new wife, Jolanda.
On October 6, 1995, Nicole van den Hurk was at her grandmother's house for a visit. She got on her bike to head to her part-time job at a local bakery but she never arrived. Nicole's boss called her, but to no avail. She was gone. At 6pm, local police found Nicole's bicycle at the bottom of the river. For days, police investigated her disappearance, asking friends and family for any information they may have. The police had hundreds of tips about van den Hurk's disappearance. Two weeks after her disappearance, van den Hurk's backpack was found so police brought in sniffer dogs to try and work off that lead, but it came up empty.
After broadcasts on local news, Dateline, and through other news outlets police began to think van den Hurk was not actually missing, but rather hiding out in her birth country of Germany. Her step-father harshly rejected this theory, so police kept searching.
On November 22, 1995, Nicole van den Hurk's body was found in the woods.
Cause of Death
There was never an official cause of death for Nicole van den Hurk, but the Public Prosecution believed she mostly likely died from a stab wound, which caused massive internal bleeding.
Finding The Killer
On October 25, 1995, one month before van den Hurk's body was discovered, police received an anonymous phone call claiming they knew who her killer was. The call was disconnected before more information could be given and the call could never be traced.
Between May and June of 1996, both Ad van den Hurk and Andy van den Hurk (her step-brother) were arrested under suspicion of killing Nicole. They were both cleared of any involvement.
Nicole was buried, years passed, and still there were no leads on who killed Nicole. In 2011, Andy van den Hurk decided there was really only one thing left to do.
On March 8, 2011, Andy van den Hurk admitted to killing his step-sister on Facebook and was subsequently arrested. Andy, who lived in England at the time, was extradited to the Netherlands. Ad van den Hurk said he doubted his son's confession, claiming he was just "begging for attention." However, his story changed and Ad says he believed Andy did in fact murder Nicole.
Andy ended up getting released, because the only evidence he had of his guilt was his Facebook confession. Once released, Andy began blaming Ad for Nicole's death, claiming his father raped, impregnated and killed his own daughter. Ad denied these accusations, but Nicole's body was exhumed to gather DNA evidence in the hopes of finding her killer.
Nicole's remains were dug up in September of 2011 and tested for DNA evidence. DNA was found, but the police were still unable to solve the crime. Towards the end of 2012, however, the case was re-opened and on January 17, 2014, a 46-year-old man named identified as Jos de G. was arrested for the murder and rape of Nicole van den Hurk.
De G. was charged with manslaughter and rape in the case of Nicole van den Hurk. In 2016, Andy van den Hurk revealed the only reason he confessed to his step-sister's murder was to have them exhume her body and continue searching for her killer.
The case was brought to court in 2016, where Public Prosecution demanded De G. be sentenced to 14 years in prison for his crime. The case got a little messy, with the van den Hurk's demanding a recusal of the jury on the basis they "were not taking them seriously." They also accused the court of not giving Nicole's other step-brother, Tommy, a chance to testify. Both motions were denied.
In November of 2016, Jos de G. was found guilty of rape and sentenced unanimously to five years in prison. He was found innocent of manslaughter, with the jury not being totally convinced he killed Nicole. The short sentence for the rape charge was due to the fact that de G. was legally insane at the time of the crime.
If it hadn't been for Andy van den Hurk, the family would still be left searching for answers. Though de G. may not be serving a life sentence for the murder of their daughter, they at least have peace of mind knowing the criminal was caught.
Would you go this far to get justice for a family member?