Jos B., the suspect in the case of the murder in 1998 at the 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen, will be extradited to the Netherlands within a few days. The Spanish judge has decided that Monday afternoon. The fact that delivery can take place so quickly is because B. cooperates. If he had not done that, the extradition could have lasted 60 to 90 days.
The 55-year-old B. was arrested Sunday in the Spanish Castellterçol, thanks to one of the more than 1,500 tips received by the police in recent days. The tips came in after criminal reports that the police and justice had spread.
Survival specialist B. had things to fish and a book about edible plants in his possession when he was picked up on a hill near the northern Spanish town on Sunday afternoon by a special unit. That B. knew how to survive in nature was known. The large-scale search for the suspect therefore took place in all European countries with dense forests, including in France, Spain and the Czech Republic. The search history on B.'s computer gave rise to this. He had searched for quiet forest areas, including in Spain. Justice was convinced that he was still alive.
The witness who eventually came up with the golden tip about B.'s residence, the suspect had recognized on a photograph. That his tip could be of great value, the police quickly became clear, says the Limburg Chief Public Prosecutor Jan Eland. Of all calls received this "immediately" priority.
Jos B. has been searched for months. He left the Netherlands last year and went to live in France. In the Vosges he was engaged in bushcraft, hobby-long survival in the wild. According to the police, that knowledge seems to have used B. to evade the DNA research that was conducted in the Netherlands.
Nicky Verstappen disappeared in the summer of 1998. One day after his disappearance he was found dead. That same day, B. went into the file for the first time: he cycled near the site over the heath at night. Only recently could his DNA be matched with traces found on the boy's clothes. A large number of questions about the research on B. remained unanswered Monday. For example, the question of what has been done with the information that B. had previously come into contact with the law because of a sexual offense from 1985.
"You have to understand that we have not yet answered questions," said the Limburg police chief Ingrid Schäfer-Poels. The priority was in detecting B. and now in getting the suspect to the Netherlands.