Kidnapped Dutch teenager returns home
25 May 2005 , AMSTERDAM — The 13-year-old abducted Dutch girl Wei Wei Hu returned home to her parents on Tuesday afternoon, hours after she was freed when her armed kidnapper surrendered to police in the German town of Munster.
25 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — The 13-year-old abducted Dutch girl Wei Wei Hu returned home to her parents on Tuesday afternoon, hours after she was freed when her armed kidnapper surrendered to police in the German town of Munster.
Wei Wei Hu: freed unharmed
after a terrifying standoff
She was greeted and hugged at about 1.30pm by her silent parents and hundreds of other well wishers in her home town of Eibergen, located in the east of the Netherlands near Enschede.
Among the well wishers were two hundred primary school pupils of Op d'n Esch — which is located across the street from the Hu family house. The pupils had spontaneously resolved to welcome Wei Wei home.
Dutch flags were also seen in the girl's home street of Meidoornstraat, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The parents and neighbours of Wei Wei, who is of Chinese ancestry, appeared briefly in front of the Hu house for the awaiting press. On behalf of the family, a neighbour thanked everyone, but particularly the Dutch and German police.
The girl, her father and mother remained almost expressionless, but the family's four younger daughters reacted with elation at their sister's homecoming.
The teenager — who was kidnapped at knife point in the eastern Dutch town of Rekken at about 2.30pm on Sunday — is said to be in reasonable good shape despite her ordeal.
"We are doing everything to shelter her as much as possible in an understanding and professional manner considering the traumatic experience that she has gone through," a police spokesman had previously told Dutch news agency ANP.
Soon after his arrest, the kidnapper was taken to a police station in Munster for questioning and police hope to reconstruct the events of the past few days. The man has since confessed to the kidnapping and sexual abuse.
Police said the girl's release was secured after intensive negotiations between police and the kidnapper overnight. A psychiatrist was also present at the talks, helping to point out to the kidnapper that his position was hopeless, RTL News reported.
He was tracked down by chance during a routine traffic control in the German town Greven. The man drove off at high speed in the direction of Munster, where police managed to wedge his vehicle in with police vehicles at about midnight.
Negotiations then continued throughout the night, during which the man repeatedly held a knife to his victim's throat. He eventually surrendered at about 5.30am.
The kidnapper is described as a 37-year-old man who failed to return to his TBS psychiatric detention institute in the Dutch city Utrecht earlier this month after being released on provisional leave. The man is believed to have been involved in a kidnapping in 1994.
The man is also believed to have failed in an earlier attempt to kidnap a 15-year-old girl from the German border town of Ahaus. That incident took place just 90 minutes before Wei Wei was abducted just across the border on Sunday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the parents of the kidnapped Wei Wei had appeared almost unable to understand that their daughter had been freed.
As neighbours and friends hugged each other at the Hu family house on Tuesday morning, the girl's parents stood initially unmoved between them. But RTL television pictures also showed them to be highly emotional.
"They are enormously happy, but have difficulty expressing that. You see very little externally of an exuberant feeling, but that will certainly come. Morning or not, I am going to open a nice beer," one neighbour said.
The Hu family moved to the Netherlands eight years ago. Wei Wei is a student at a HAVO-VWO school and her father is a chef in a Chinese restaurant.
Joyous reactions were also heard at the girl's school, Scholengemeenschap Het Assink, in Eibergen. The Dutch flag was hoisted and teachers were planning throughout the day to explain the good news at length to their students.
Social workers from the Victims Assistance Bureau (Bureau Slachtofferhulp) had been called in to the school on Monday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch + German news