January 4, 1994: Disappearance
On a rainy Tuesday, Kim (11) and her little brother Ken (8) left their home on Kerkstraat in Antwerp to spend the night with her boyfriend, who lived a stone’s throw from them. First they took the tram to Merksem Fortress, where their companion at the time was completing football training. However, they will never get there. The children disembark near the Sportpaleis, still far from their destination. They decided to ask a passing couple for directions, and soon after, they disappeared from the radar.
January 5, 1994: The neighborhood was combed
Mama Tiny Mast assumed her kids had spent the night safely with their friend. The police initially reassured the mother, because there were suspicions that they were runaways who would go home on their own.
It soon became clear that there was more. there was and mass I looked for children. Police, friends and sympathizers gathered to comb the neighborhood. Posters were distributed inviting Kim to reach out: “Hey Kim, call,” the petition went. It included a phone number and a snail shell. But unfortunately, Kim will never be heard from again. (Read more below the image)
February 11, 1994: Kim is found
In the weeks following the disappearance, the Antwerp police received several tips. People thought they saw the children in various locations, including the Metropolis cinema, in a chip shop in Luchtbal and in Putte-Kapellen, near the Dutch border. Without avail. A month after my brother and sister closed the door behind them, Kim was found raped and murdered in the cables of a pushboat in Asiadok. She had stab wounds in her neck.
It was difficult to identify the girl because she had been in the water for so long. Based on her teeth, it is confirmed that she is indeed the missing Kim. According to the autopsy, the girl was killed three hours after she disappeared.
Read also. The brother (30) of Kim and Ken who disappeared in 1994 speaks for the first time about an unsolved case: “I will carry this grief with me for the rest of my life.”
Because the older sister was found in Asiadoc, investigators suspected that Kane had also been dumped in the water. They were faced with the near impossible task of searching through 70,000 square feet of pavement. A needle in a haystack, especially when you consider the limited technology divers had to work with at the time. Apart from the battery, the moped and the corpse of a dog, the search yielded nothing useful. Kane’s body was never found.
Despite the fact that dozens of people were questioned and at least several DNA samples were taken, there is no trace of the perpetrator yet.
February 18, 1994: The search for Kane is halted
Six weeks after the disappearance, the police called off the search for Kane. Investigators believe they can no longer do anything for the boy. (Read more below the image)
1996: Link to the Dutroux Affair?
There was a radio silence about the case for two years. Until 1996, when the Dutroux affair caused turmoil in the entire country. The Antwerp court woke up again and investigated whether Dutroux had anything to do with the kidnapping of Kim and Ken. Investigators compared the DNA samples of the two main suspects, but even then came to the disappointing conclusion that there was no link between the two cases. Again, the search has been on hold for years.
June 24, 1999: A similar murder
Another three years after the dead end of another tournament, 12-year-old Steve Visser is murdered, a tragic event that sheds new light on the disappearance case. The boy was dragged from his bike, dragged into the woods, raped and killed. Steve died from several stab wounds, mainly in the chest and neck area. The case showed many similarities to Kim’s murder.
29-year-old Danny Emens was arrested and sentenced to life in prison a year later. However, the man has always denied any involvement in Kim’s murder case. Also, his DNA did not match the traces on Kim’s body.
2014: Kane’s death is officially announced
After exactly twenty years of never seeing Kane again, his mother wanted him declared dead so that she could finally say goodbye to her son. (Read more below the image)
2023: The cold case has not yet been fully settled
Nearly three decades later, the investigation is still ongoing. Christoph Aerts, spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Antwerp, said earlier in our paper: “The relics and items in the file are viewed and reviewed according to the latest technology and developments.”