Nicole Van Den Hurk was fifteen years old when she disappeared on her way to work on October 6th, 1995. Her body was found on November 22 in the woods between the towns of Mierlo and Lierop.
16 years later, when the case became colder, her stepbrother falsely confessed to the killing to get her body exhumed for DNA testing, which ultimately led to the arrest of Jos De G—the real killer . He was found guilty of rape and was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment.
Who was Nicole Van Den Hurk?
Nicole was born on 4th July 1980 in Germany, to Angelika Tegtmeier, who was a single mother at the time. At the time of Nicole’s birth, Angelika wasn’t sure who the father, but on July 21, 1981, an official blood test confirmed a married man from the neighborhood as Nicole’s biological father, his name was added to Nicole’s birth certificate on April 7, 1982.
After Nicole’s birth, her mother started dating Van Den Hurk, and after two years of dating Van Den Hurk, the couple married but the marriage didn’t last long and the couple divorced in 1989, with Van Den Hurk winning the custody of Nicole.
Disappearance of Nicole Van Den Hurk
On 6th October 1995, fifteen-year-old Nicole van Den Hurk left her grandmother’s house early morning to attend her holiday job via bicycle but failed to arrive at her job at Woensel shopping Center. Police began searching and at 06:00 pm police found her bicycle in the river Dommel.
The search continued and in the next 11 days, police searched the river and the nearby forest but found nothing. On October 19, Nicole’s backpack was found near Eindhoven’s canal. Police received around 300 leads by November 20.
But on November 22 police didn’t need any lead, they’d found her body, Nicole’s body was found by a passerby in the woods between the two towns of Mierlo and Lierop, not far from her grandmother’s home. Over a thousand mourners attend her funeral.
Nicole had been raped and murdered, the cause of death was most likely internal bleeding due to a stab wound. Nicole’s postmortem showed that she had suffered two fractures to the jaw, other injuries to the head and fingers, and a rib injury caused by stabbing with a pocket or fishing knife.
Police denied the possibility of Nicole running away and initially suspected Nicole’s stepfather and her stepbrother. The authorities arrested both of them, but after finding no evidence against them, they were released and ultimately cleared of all involvement.
A few months after the murder of Nicole, one of their family friend Celine Hartogs was arrested for drug trafficking. Celine claimed that she had been working for a man who had been involved in the murder. But no evidence supporting her claims was found and police determined that her claims were flawed and unrelated. However, Nicole’s stepfather believed her story.
A reward was offered for providing information in connection with the murder of Nicole Van Den Hurk to make the case worse, the case began to lose investigators and at one point the number of detectives in charge of the case was reduced to four. In 2004, a cold case team took up the case, but everything reached an impasse and the case was silenced again.
Andy Van Den Hurk Confession
In 1995, the technology was unable to identify foreign DNA on Nicole’s body, and after the case went cold, Andy decided to confess to having Nicole’s remains exhumed.
In 2011, Nicole’s 36-year-old stepbrother Andy moved to England. Before his arrest Andy Van Den Hurk shared a Facebook post that said: “I will be arrested today for the murder of my sister, I confessed will get in contact soon.”
Andy was arrested on March 8, 16 years after the murder of his step-sister. He believed that his father had killed Nicole, and that was the main reason why he confessed.
“I wanted to get her exhumed and the DNA off her, so I kind of set myself up, and it could have gone horribly wrong,” Andy said, “To get her exhumed I had to put steps in place to get her exhumed. I went to the police and said I did it.”
Police wanted to keep him in custody, but the magistrate ruled that they couldn’t keep him behind bars because they don’t have enough evidence. Andy was released five days later.
Nicole Van Den Hurk’s body exhumed
After Andy confessed, Nicole’s remains were exhumed in September 2011 to allow DNA samples to be obtained. Within a week, police announced that a foreign DNA matched sample found, and after years of nothing they received more than 20 leads in a single day.
Further study revealed that the police were able to find three different DNA types of a single trace of sperm. The DNA matched Nichole’s boyfriend an unknown man and a Jos De G. The Netherlands does not identify suspects by their full names.
46-year-old Jos De G was arrested after his DNA matched samples found on the remains and at the crime scene. Jos De G was already convicted of three rapes and was sentenced to three years in preventive detention and compulsory treatment for one of them. Jos De was known to have left his ex-girlfriend’s home frustrated after a fight on 6th October 1995, a few hours before Nicole’s disappearance.
During the first trial in 2014, Jos De G’s lawyer disputed the DNA evidence, as DNA from other people, including Nicole’s ex-boyfriend was also found on her remains. The lawyer argued that Nicole may have had consensual sex with Jos De G a few days before her disappearance, and Nicole may have been pregnant when she died.
Later in 2015, Jos De G denied any contact with Nicole Van Den Hurk at the time of her disappearance but said that he may have had sex with her a few days earlier.
The prosecution demanded 14 years imprisonment for Jos De G, arguing that he could not have had consensual sex with Nicole, as she hardly had time for a relationship.
“This man deserves the highest punishment there is,” said Ad van den Hurk. “He has taken the life of my child. The Netherlands is not helped by this, that such a man may still walk the streets.”
On 21 November 2016, Jos De G was found guilty of rape and sentenced to five years of imprisonment, and later on, appeal Jos De G was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for the rape and manslaughter of Nicole Van Den Hurk.
Nicole’s case would’ve been unsolved if Andy hadn’t confessed to killing his step-sister. Andy took a gamble, he believed that his father might’ve killed Nicole but the killer was apprehended finally, and Nicole’s family finally got justice.
Now that you’ve read about Nicole Van Den Hurk, read about the Gruesome murder of Dardeen family.