Police launch appeal to find missing woman

Police in Antwerp have launched an appeal to trace a 23-year-old woman that went missing on Saturday evening. Julie Van Espen from Schilde had arranged to meet friends in the centre of Antwerp on Saturday evening but never arrived. She left her home in Schilde to cycle the 15 or so kilometres to Antwerp at around 6:30pm, but never arrived. She cycled along the Albert Canal, over the cycle bridge in Park Spoor Noord and then along the river towards Antwerp South.   

On Sunday morning the woman’s family launched an appeal to find her on the social media site Facebook.

A spokesman for the Antwerp Judicial Authorities said that the police launched a search operation to try and find Julie Van Espen on Saturday night. Today police will use sniffer dogs to search the banks of the Albert Canal along which the missing woman should have rode on the way to meeting her friends.

A cycle patrol from the Antwerp Local Police service is also searching the area of the canal side near to the Sportpaleis events hall. The Judicial Authorities have confirmed that the disappearance is out of character and as such is giving them cause for concern.