The most famous unsolved case in the Netherlands has finally been solved after police arrested Jos Brech, 55, near Barcelona in Spain on Sunday. Brech took Nicky Verstappen, 11, from his tent at a summer camp in Limburg in 1998. The young boy was raped and murdered and his body was discovered the next day.

While police could not track down a suspect, Nicky’s family vowed that the crime would not be forgotten. As reported by the BBC, after Netherlands police received a new lead earlier this year after they took DNA samples from 15,000 people while searching for a suspect.

One match was discovered in a relative of Brech. Brech had been missing from his home since April this year.

Unsolved murder finally closed

Brech is a survival expert and has been living in several forests since he went missing. Police did visit his last-known home in Los Vosgos, France, where they discovered some of his belongings and established a DNA match. Dutch police released photos of Brech last week in the Netherlands.

Brech was located in the town of Castellterçol, 31 miles from Barcelona.

He was found living in a tent outside a home used as a commune. He had been recognized by a Dutchman who had seen the photo in the news.

The source had reportedly spoken to the suspect on a number of occasions and had no doubt it was Brech. Spanish police arrested Brech on the property, where he was chopping wood at the time.

He is behind bars without bail and has reportedly accepted his extradition to the Netherlands.

History of abuse

El Pais in English reports that police in the Netherlands had interviewed Brech in 1985 in connection with an alleged sexual assault, but no arrest was made at that time. Since then, it has been found that Brech has a history of sexually abusing children.

It has now been revealed that the suspect had also been seen close to the area where Nicky’s body was found.

In 2002, when Brech was involved in the Boy Scouts, he had admitted having treatment for sexual abuse. The suspect had also been employed in a kindergarten.

Nicky’s story kept alive by the Dutch reporter

While the crime had never previously been solved, Nicky’s case was kept in the public eye by a Dutch reporter, Peter Vries, who specialises in unsolved cases. He regularly spoke about the crime on his television show.

Nicky’s mother said that police would never have got this far in the case, adding that Vries had been a big support for them.

Police in the Netherlands have now requested Spanish police to extradite Brech where he will be charged with kidnapping, rape, and murder.