The body of a toddler has been found just 24 hours after a man was arrested in connection with his kidnapping.
Dean Verberckmoes was located after a two-day search in which a man known as Dave De K was arrested on Monday.
The toddler was allegedly being babysat by the 34-year-old. He was meant to be taken by the man to his grandparents home, but the pair never made it.
A police statement said: “The police investigation pointed to a possible crime scene on Monday evening, and a police helicopter also joined the search. Around 10.00 pm (2100 GMT) the lifeless body of a child was found. We thank everybody who helped and are sending condolences to his family.”
The Mirror has reported that in 2010 Dave De K was previously sentenced to ten years in prison for acts of child abuse, leading to the death of a two-year-old.
The man had previously looked after the boy before, along with is partner, but local news states that the couple fell out and left the boy alone with the man, who was meant to take him to his biological grandparents house.
The toddler’s mother, Elke Verberckmoes, told local news before the body was discovered: “We are terrified. I hope he brings my son back home. Or that he leaves him with people somewhere safe so that Dean is at least safe. If he wants to move on after that, I don’t care. I hope my son is safely home soon.
“That is all I dare to hope for.”
The body of the bod was found on Neeltje Jans – an artificial island in the Zeeland province.
It was confirmed on Twitter by the Zeeland police.
They said: “The missing Dean (4) from #België (Belgium) has unfortunately just been found deceased at a location in Zeeland.
“We thank everyone for the help and our condolences to the family.”
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