NEWS
27/08/2018 14:20 BST | Updated 28/08/2018 09:38 BST

Man Arrested For 1998 Murder Of Dutch Boy Nicky Verstappen, 11, After Mass DNA Testing

He has been detained in Spain pending his transfer to the Netherlands.

A man suspected of murdering an 11-year-old Dutch boy 20 years ago has been arrested in Spain.

Jos Brech, 55, was detained on Sunday afternoon and is being held in connection with the killing of Nicky Verstappen in 1998.

His arrest follows a public appeal to track him down after police in the Netherlands announced a breakthrough in the 20-year disappearance and death of the child.

Brech has been detained in Spain pending his transfer to the Netherlands.

Netherlands Police
Nicky Verstappen, 11, was killed while at summer camp in the Netherlands in 1998.

Police distributed photos of Brech on Wednesday, saying that his DNA matches samples taken from the clothes of the murdered child.

About a day after Nicky went missing while at a summer camp in 1998, Brech was stopped by military police close to the scene but was not considered a suspect.

Nicky disappeared during the night of August 9, 1998 while camping at the Brunssummerheide nature reserve, near the German border.

His body was found the following evening near to the campsite.

MARCEL VAN HOORN via Getty Images
A monument for Nicky Verstappen near the place where his dead body at the age of eleven was found in 1998 on the Brunssummerheide in Brunssum, the Netherlands.

Brech, who was reported missing by his family in April, was arrested following the largest DNA testing project in the country’s history.

Foreign DNA was discovered on Nicky’s clothing and more than 14,000 men voluntarily gave DNA samples to the investigation, the BBC reports.

None of those who gave samples were suspects but the search could be narrowed by comparing the samples and determining if a relative of the donor was a match.