Lusanne kidnapper made previous attempt
16 December 2003
AMSTERDAM — The man who snatched 11-year-old Lusanne van der Gun had previously tried to abduct the schoolgirl before he successfully bundled her into his car in August, the public prosecutor said on Tuesday.
It is not precisely known when 63-year-old Simon S. made the previous abduction attempt, but the prosecution estimated during a pre-trial hearing in the Leeuwarden Court on Tuesday that it occurred between 1 May and 25 June this year.
Lusanne told police in a statement that she had decided against going off with the suspect on the first occasion. S., of Ryptsjerk, has also admitted he previously tried to kidnap the girl.
Lusanne was cycling to school in her Friesland village of Oldeberkoop with a girlfriend on 25 August when the suspect, dressed as a traffic-crossing supervisor, abducted her and drove away with her in his car. The other girl continued cycling to school.
A massive search operation and public information campaign was launched. Two days later Lusanne walked into a Venlo hotel in the east of the country and asked to make a telephone call. S. had released her unharmed shortly beforehand.
S. was arrested a week and half later in his home town of Ryptsjerk. Police were tipped off by someone who had seen Lusanne in the man’s car. The witness had taken note of the car’s registration.
Throughout the majority of her three-day captivity, Lusanne was forced to remain in the trunk of her kidnapper’s car as the suspect crisscrossed the country from Drenthe to Limburg. Lusanne’s police statement also indicates they crossed the border into Germany.
S. was allegedly under the impression that Lusanne’s family was wealthy and demanded a EUR 200,000 ransom. The money was never paid, news agency ANP reported.
The trial will start in the Leeuwarden Court on 26 February.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news