Hope ends in despair: step-sisters 'murdered'
29 June 2006 (first update), BRUSSELS — Belgian justice authorities have reportedly ruled out the possibility that step-sisters Stacy and Nathalie were killed in an accident.
29 June 2006 (first update)
BRUSSELS — Belgian justice authorities have reportedly ruled out the possibility that step-sisters Stacy and Nathalie were killed in an accident.
Instead, the 10-year-old Nathalie Mahy and seven-year-old Stacy Lemmens were murdered and dumped in a sewer along the Liège-Antwerp railway, newspapers 'De Standaard' and 'De Morgen' reported.
The bodies of the two girls were found on Wednesday just a five-minute walk from the Liège café where they disappeared on the night of 9 June. It appears highly likely that they were killed on the night they disappeared.
But the cause of death is not yet known. They were not stabbed or shot. Police assume they were strangled. An autopsy on Wednesday night was to shed further light on the cause of death and whether the girls were sexually abused.
It appears likely that Nathalie was raped, but there were no obvious signs that Stacy was sexually abused.
It has also been confirmed that Nathalie and Stacy were not kidnapped by a new Marc Dutroux. This culprit does not kidnap girls across the country and lock them up at his home.
Instead, police assume the man who kidnapped Stacy and Nathalie acted on impulse when he saw the girls alone at the Liège street party.
The only suspect, 38-year-old Abdallah Ait Oud, is now under more suspicion than ever. He was seen in the bar Aux Armuriers on the night the girls disappeared.
Witnesses also saw him that same night and the days thereafter in the vicinity of the railway, an area he regularly met with friends. Ait Oud therefore knows the area very well.
Moreover, at the time of his arrest, Ait Oud had scratches on his knees and arms. The area where the girls were found is full of blackberry bushes and other scrub plants.
Police suspect that Ait Oud injured himself trying to hide the bodies of the two girls. He has also been twice convicted of child sex offences.
He did not report to police for several days after the girls disappeared despite appeals from police for him to contact authorities.
Liège Court decided on Thursday to extend Ait Oud's remand detention.
The parents of the two children refused to give statements on Wednesday, preferring instead to try and come to terms with the death of both girls.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news