The Sunday body found in the Belgian National Park Hoge Kempen is indeed from the fugitive military Jürgen Conings. The Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder confirmed that. She also announced that her thoughts go to the Conings family.
Previously, it was already expressed the suspicion that the body was the 46-year-old male, who was considered dangerous after his disappearance on May 17, and before that was already on the list of potentially dangerous extremists because of far-right ideas.
The Federal Prosecutor‘s Office in Brussels reported earlier that Conings committed suicide with a firearm according to the first research findings. He had brought guns and ammunition from work before his disappearance. The authorities have since denied twelve military personnel with far-right sympathies from access to arms depots.
Found by Mayor
The body was found by Johan Tollenaere, Mayor of Maaseik. He told Belgian media that he perceived a scent of corpse during mountain biking in a place where few people come and then immediately contacted the police. Other parts of the national park in the Belgian province of Limburg, bordering the Netherlands, were searched for Conings several times without success.
The body was found in the bushes, not far from the coordinates that the Mayor of Maaseik passed on to the police. Tollenaere was on a mountain bike ride and was a few metres behind the rest of the group when he perceived a striking scent.
Fearing that it could be a body, he made an alarm. According to the first reports, Conings would have died three weeks ago. It’s about an act of despair. This puts an end to the search that has been going on for over a month.
location in the
Dilserbos where the body was found – on the border of Dilsen-Stokkem and Maaseik – is a few kilometres from where Conings left his car at the time and where a backpack with weapons was later found. It‘s not about the area where the first week after the disappearance was fought.
“Security services have sought in the right region, but it was a very large zone,” said Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD). “Conings was found just outside that search zone.”
After an investigation at the site, Conings’s body will be transferred to UZ Leuven for further research. An autopsy should show Sunday night and Monday morning when Conings died and under what circumstances. The Victim Support Service assists Conings‘s girlfriend.
Marc van Ranst back home
Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst stayed in a safehouse due to threats from Conings. “I am relieved for my family. The threat level will also be lower now. But we must remember that he also leaves a family behind. And it’s gonna be very hard for them. I would therefore like to express my sympathy to them,” Van Ranst says to Het Nieuwsblad. The virologist has left his hiding address and is back home.