15. A Dark Secret
When it comes to secrets, it’s important to remember that they will eventually come into the light. Whether it’s sooner rather than later is the question. For one young man, a dark secret would eat away at him for over two decades. Meanwhile, police would attempt to solve a case revolving around a mysterious disappearance and the strange circumstances that kept them in the dark for over 20 years. Now…the truth is about to be revealed.
14. A Rocky Start
For Nicole Tegtmeier, you could say life wasn’t all that easy. Born in Germany on July 4, 1980, she found her early years rocked by her mother’s infidelity, divorce and eventual suicide. Adopted by her stepfather, Dutch singer Ad van den Hurk, Nicole longed for a little bit of stability in her life after six years of upheaval
13. To Grandmother’s House We Go
Due to her father’s singing career, Nicole often stayed with her grandmother at her home in the Netherlands. Nicole was only fifteen when her mother committed suicide, making it a very dark time for her. In order to get out of the house and find some distraction from the pain, Nicole took a job during the holidays working at a bakery. Sadly, this job would be something she would soon regret.
12. Last Sighting
On October 6, 1995 Nicole left her grandmother’s around 5:15 PM for her 6PM shift at the bakery. It would be the last time her grandmother ever saw her. Nicole would ride off into the sunset on her bike and never be seen again. The next day, the police would find something horrifying.
11. Evidence in the River
Fraught with worry, Nicole’s grandmother contacted the police when she never returned from her shift at the bakery. The police began their search the area and made a startling discovery—Nicole’s bike in the Dommel river. As the police launched into full-investigation mode, they would discover her rucksack two weeks later. Where could Nicole be? Did someone hurt her?
10. Theories Begin to Surface
Both Nicole’s grandmother and father refused to believe that Nicole had run away. However, some felt she could have left the Netherlands to visit extended family in Germany. With little evidence to go on, the police were left grasping at straws. Sadly, a break in the case would lead to a tragic revelation.
9. The Body
One month after Nicole’s disappearance, a man would spot a body along the side of the road when driving outside of the town of Mierlo. Unfortunately, it was confirmed to be Nicole. Family and friends were simply stunned by the shocking conclusion to the investigation, and thousands would show up to her funeral on November 28, 1995 to help lay her to rest. However, one question remained: how did Nicole die?
8. An Incomplete Examination
According to the coroner, it was believed Nicole died from internal bleeding caused by a stab would. Unfortunately, they were not able to complete a proper autopsy due to the family wishing to bury her so quickly. Therefore, there were still quite a few “unknowns” surrounding her death.
7.Tips Continue to Flood In
Due to the media firestorm surrounding Nicole’s death, tips continued to flood in long after her funeral. The investigation would reduce their team to four detectives who had to sort through over 300 different tips on what may have led to Nicole’s demise. One anonymous caller claimed he knew who the killer was. Another man revealed that Nicole had been involved in drug smuggling. However, detectives determined his story to be false.
6. Turning to Family
The investigation would soon turn to the family and both Nicole’s stepfather and her stepbrother, Andy, were arrested in connection to her death. According to the police, they were two of the most obvious suspects. This would end up leading to nothing in terms of closing the case and the father and son would be cleared of all charges. It would be nearly 20 years later that the truth would finally be revealed.
5. A Brother’s Deadly Secret
After revealing he had suffered from two-decades worth of guilt and sleepless nights, Nicole’s stepbrother confessed to killing her in 2011 via a post on Facebook. The British police issued an arrest warrant immediately and he was extradited to the Netherlands. But you won’t believe what happens next.
4. Another Strange Twist in the Case
Andy would be released only five days after his confession due to lack of evidence connecting him to the crime. With just a Facebook post, there was nothing that would be compelling enough to land a conviction. Five years later, Andy would admit to falsely confessing he was the killer and revealed he simply wanted to revive the case and have Nicole’s body exhumed for further testing.
3. New Revelations
The new DNA tests on Nicole’s remains confirmed that there was foreign DNA on her body. It was also found at the crime scene as well. After weeks of investigation, a match was found and police arrested 46-year-old, Jos de G. The detectives discovered Jos had an extensive criminal history where he was convicted of rape on three different occasions. When the case went to court, the defense argued that DNA was found from two other people on Nicole’s body. This spun the investigation into overdrive. Would they ever find out who killed Nicole?
2. Re-Testing the Evidence
The prosecution made the decision to retest the evidence with modern DNA tools in an effort to come to a clearer conclusion. It was determined that Jos’s DNA was definitely present on Nicole’s body and at the crime scene. It was then Jos dropped another truth bomb, where he revealed that he and Nicole had been having consensual sex. According to him, Nicole had a wild secret sex life. However, he also revealed that he never distinguished between consensual and forced. This led the prosecution to believe Jos had raped Nicole and most likely killed her.
1. End of the Line
After months of deliberation, Jos was found guilty of rape and sentenced to five years in prison on November 21, 2014. The shorter sentence was revealed to be due to the compromised DNA evidence, as well as Jos most likely not being in his right mind during the crime. Sadly, this doesn’t bring much of a conclusion to the 20-year-old case. We hope that Nicole has found peace, despite the fact we may never know who actually killed. As of now, this murder remains only partially solved.