Esmee with her horse Tappie. (Photo: Corticas family)
33-year-old gymnastics teacher Olivier van de Gee from Leiden is on trial today on suspicion of strangling 14-year-old Esme. She disappeared on the evening of December 30, 2021. Her remains were found the next morning on a tree in a park near Melchior Treublaan in Leiden. How did this situation go again?
December 31, 2021 A dead body was found in the garden
A dead body was found in the bushes near Melchior Treublaan in Leiden on New Year’s Eve in the morning. Police cordoned off much of the area on Friday and put up screens. White-suited detectives spent hours investigating.
January 2, 2022 – Police provide clarity: 14-year-old girl died
After a few days of silence about the investigation into the body that was found, the police will release more details on Sunday, January 2. The body turned out to be a 14-year-old girl who died as a result of a crime. The girl was found by a group of athletes. It soon turns out to be the teenage Esmee. Police also announced that they had arrested a suspect on New Year’s Eve. It concerns a 32-year-old man from Leiden at the time. The victim, from Hazerswoude-Rijndijk, was reported missing on Thursday evening, December 30, around midnight.
Meanwhile, friends, acquaintances and other relatives come to the place where my name was found. They cry together, lay flowers and light candles in the garden along the path. Plush toys and energy drink cans will also appear. “Dear my name, so young, rest in peace my love,” a card reads among the flowers. In addition, it turns out that the 14-year-old victim was crazy about horses. She also had her own horse, which stood at the pension of Leiden farmer Wilbert van der Post. Van der Post can also be found on Melchior Treublaan on Sunday, January 2nd. “This is very sad, just incomprehensible,” he said.
January 3, 2022 – The suspect turned out to be Olivier Van Dej, OM talking about “adultery”
The Leiden resident suspected of murdering 14-year-old Esme turns out to be the gymnastics teacher. Sources confirm the day after the murder that the suspect is Olivier of J. He was an athletic trainer at Gymsport Leiden and a fitness trainer by profession. In addition to being a gym instructor, Van de G. was a fitness instructor at the Ramdas Sportcenter. On the same Monday, the public prosecutor also announced that Van de Gee is suspected of “manslaughter or manslaughter” and “adultery”.
On Monday, January 3, Lars Meesters can also be found in the park where Esmee was found. He found the body of the teenager a few days ago. He says Esme’s body is lying on a tree.
January 5 2022 – One hundred tips After asking for investigation, I found Esmee’s bike
After the broadcast of Opsporing Verzocht, the police received a hundred tips about the death of 14-year-old Esmee. Pictures of Esmee’s bike were featured in the investigation program, because that bike was found to be missing after the murder. Police are also asking witnesses to come forward with the broadcast. My name was last seen on Vijf Meilaan.
The call leads to many tips that the police will act on. A day after the broadcast, which was shown on TV on the evening of Tuesday, January 4, Esmee’s bike was found on the balcony of an apartment at Van Riebeeckhof in Leiden. The investigation into what exactly happened around the murder is still in full swing.
January 8, 2022 Hundreds of people along the funeral procession route
On Saturday afternoon, January 8, Leiden will commemorate the death and funeral of 14-year-old Esme. The girl’s body was carried in a white cart from the stables to the Rheinhof cemetery. Hundreds of people stood along the path of the funeral procession and flags were hung at half-mast at several places in the city. Esmee’s stepfather speaking during a special farewell service. “Today we were able to give you the best farewell possible. I know you are going to be one of the most beautiful stars out there.”
January 12 2022 Police are looking for clues in the waters of the New Rhine River
On Wednesday January 12, police divers will enter the waters at the Nieuwe Rijn in Leiden to search for clues. A police boat searches the bottom of the canal and combs it with a tow net. What was searched was not found. Also on March 10 and 11, the police are still trying to search for evidence. Again, both searches yield nothing. At the end of June, the police announced that they were searching for Esmee’s phone to no avail.
January 13, 2022 – OM investigates the relationship between Esmee and the suspect
According to prosecutors, 32-year-old Olivier Van Dej and 14-year-old Esme have known each other for more than a year. That year, the suspect allegedly committed adultery with the girl. It is unclear how many times this has happened. According to a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Office, the investigation is still ongoing as to whether the victim and the suspect were in a relationship. The Public Prosecution also demands that the suspect’s family be left alone. The Oliver family is receiving a lot of backlash online. Among other things, Van Dj’s mother was recently threatened via social media. “In these reactions, the limits of the respected or even the criminal are sometimes sought,” says the Public Prosecution Office.
March 29, 2022 – More details about the murder to come
At the end of March, the Public Prosecution Office will come out with more details about Esme’s murder. For example, Van de J could have strangled her in his house. Then, the 32-year-old suspect had moved the body. The prosecution also appears to assume that he took her first on his back and then on her bike. He is said to have put it in the park at Melchior Treublaan on the tree.
New details about the murder shocked the victim’s acquaintances deeply. “This is extensive information,” says the president of the gymnastics association of which Olivier Van Deej and the victim were both members. “To address grief, we’d like to know what happened, but that’s intense.”
April 8, 2022 – Van de G. For the first time in court
On Friday, April 8, Van Deej will appear in court for the first time in the first preliminary hearing. Van de G.’s attorney, Job Knoester, said before the hearing that the suspect was cooperating fully with the investigation. The gymnastics teacher announces in court that Esmee is no longer alive after having a good time. Furthermore, he says he can’t remember how he strangled my name. “There are things I wasn’t aware of,” the suspect said. It also appears during the first session that Esmee and Van de G. got to know each other from a school camp and from a training.
Moreover, it turns out that Van de G. made an extended statement in February. He admitted that the two had sex with each other. He also said that my name was at his house the night of the disappearance. “There were irritations,” says Van Dj. Then, the fun had begun. “What happened is terrible,” he said in court. “I want to help, I want to make sure this problem is resolved in the best possible way.”
Asmi’s family was present in a separate room. “This is a very difficult day for them,” their lawyer, Robert van der Laan, said afterwards. “They were very reluctant to confront the person who killed their daughter.”
June 24, 2022 – Van de G. had child porn on his laptop
275 files containing child pornography were found on Van de G’s laptop. This will become clear on June 24 during a second preliminary court hearing. In addition, Van de G. indicated that he wanted to apologize in a personal conversation with Esmee’s parents. The parents’ lawyer replied: “There is no need for that.” During the hearing in June, the Public Prosecution Office also announced that “the forensic and tactical investigation into the murder and assault is nearing completion.” In the meantime, it was decided to examine the suspect from Leiden at the Peter Pan Center.
July 15 2022 My name’s mother makes herself heard
During Stompwijkse Paardendagen, there is a commemoration of Esmee. The teenager loved horses more than riding and her mother had given her a horse before she died. Esmee’s mother at the memorial and rides there on her newly purchased horse on the memorial tour. I bought it for her a month before she passed away. She was very happy with it. Fortunately, she was able to enjoy it for a while.” Since the funeral, Esmese’s mother has not been riding on Tabby. “That makes it all the more emotional.”
September 16, 2022 – Pre-trial hearing
The third preliminary hearing in the murder case will take place on September 16. It is also the preparatory session in the run-up to the substantive treatment that will begin on Monday. In the September hearing, the main focus was on photos taken by the police in their investigation. These photos will be kept in a safe place in order to preserve the privacy of Esme and her relatives. For example, Van Dj’s lawyer has not sent the photos, but is only allowed to view them when he visits the Public Prosecution Office.
November 14, 2022 – Van de J. Hearing the verdict of the Public Prosecution
Today’s suspect, Olivier Van Dej, hears about the punishment the Public Prosecution Office wants to impose on him. He is being tried on suspicion of strangling my name. He is also suspected of committing adultery with the underage girl. This fornication would have been for a year until her death. He is also criminally accused of concealing her remains. After his arrest, 275 child pornography files were found on his laptop and mobile phone.
Substantive processing will begin on Monday at 9:00 in court in The Hague. There is a possible extension day on Tuesday, if the case needs time more than one day. At the end of the substantive transaction, the public prosecutor announces the verdict. Then the court makes its decision after two weeks.
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