Body of missing pensioner found in sand dunes at Ostend

Police investigating the disappearance of an 82-year-old women have found her body in an area of sand dunes in the West Flemish coastal city of Ostend. The West Flemish Judicial Authorities confirmed on Tuesday morning that Solange Hennaert’s body had been found. Ms Hennaert’s 47 year-old son is currently being held in custody on suspicion of hostage taking. 

Solange Hennaert had been missing since mid-2017. Her disappearance was first noticed when she failed to turn up at her local town hall to renew her identity card. The Judicial Authorities says that it is still unclear when she was last seen in her home town of Bredene (West Flanders).

The investigation into Ms Hennaert’s disappearance started to progress when detectives started to look into the comings and goings of her son F.P. It became clear that he must have known more about her disappearance. Not least as he had continued to go and collect her pension.  Last week F.P. was detained by an Examining Magistrate on suspicion of hostage taking, IT fraud and  deception.

Acting on information given by the suspect a search got under way late on Monday afternoon of an area of dunes between Ostend and Bredene. Solange Hennaert’s body was found.  An autopsy will look at whether  she died a violent death.  If this is the case her son risks life imprisonment. However, if Ms Hennaert died of natural causes and he if found had  guilty of having hidden her body Ms Hennaert’s son risks a sentence of 2 years.