The man’s girlfriend is currently being questioned by police here in Belgium. The house they share has been searched as part of the investigation into Dean Verberckmoes’ abduction and death.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, the Mayor of Beveren Marc Van de Vijver (Christian democrat) told VRT News that "It is incomprehensible that someone could be capable of doing such a thing. As a show of mourning all the flags in the village of Verrebroek (the part of Beveren where Dean lived) are flying at half-mast”.
Mr Van de Vijver went on to say that "Above all my thoughts are with the family. I am a grandfather of children of that age myself. I don’t know the family personally, but our police service has been offering them support during the past few days. It is awful what they have gone through”.
The municipality has opened a book of remembrance for Dean “We were informed about the disappearance and had always hoped that it would end well. If we look at the man’s past (the abductor Dave De Kock was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2010 for child abuse resulting in the death of his stepson) then we can only conclude that he needs protecting from himself. The investigation will find out why he has reoffended”.
Mayor Van de Vijver added that the book of condolence is being opened to allow people to offer sympathy and support to Dean’s family. He also took the opportunity to offer his own and the municipal cabinet’s deepest sympathies with the dead boy’s mother and the rest of his family, friends and those that knew him.
The book on condolence can be signed at the OC De Verre village hall in Verrebroek on Tuesday from 2pm to 8pm and from Wednesday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm.