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Rated: ASR · Non-fiction · Contest Entry · #2277148
How a camping trip went terribly wrong

I want to tell the sad and horrific story of Nicky Verstappen, an eleven-year-old Dutch boy who went on a camping trip and disappeared.

A boy your age he was, living his life with friends and having a wonderful time camping, playing, and enjoying the outdoors.

One night in August 1998 he went to bed in his tent and the next morning there was no trace of him. Everybody at the summer camp was horrified and looked for him everywhere but couldn’t find him. They did several searches but they were all in vain: Nicky was gone.

One day later when searching with police, the army, a helicopter, and a dog they found Nicky’s body 1200 meters from the campsite. He was murdered.

In the following years, the investigation continued, with a few suspects but no arrests. It was hell on earth for Nicky’s family, his parents, and his sister. They wanted to know what had happened to Nicky and of course who had done it.

Then, almost twenty years later the police reopened the case and did a DNA test on men who were living nearby the murder scene at the time of Nicky’s death. They took saliva from their mouths and tested it with the traces found on Nicky’s body. They looked at 21,500 men and to their surprise, there was a match.

But before they could arrest the 55-year-old bushcrafter, the man fled abroad and went under the radar. As a bushman, he knew how to survive and went missing for a time but a Dutch tourist recognized him in Spain, so the police could arrest him and brought him to the Netherlands.

There he went to trial. The man kept silent and denied everything but the evidence was overwhelming. In January of this year, he got his sentence: 16 years of jail time for manslaughter.

Nicky's family still suffered all those years, but they were glad the case was solved after so long.

So, don’t be afraid to go camping, but always be very careful. There are bad people out there.


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