- A fugitive who was on the run for 6 years handed himself in
- Jurgen Vandekeere handed himself over to the police after his dad convinced him to stop running
- He will appear in court later this year
Jurgen Vandekeere had been on the run for 6 years after being accused of allegedly murdering a 20-year-old woman. After staying one step ahead of authorities and private investigators he handed himself in.
Briefly.co.za learned that it was his dad who finally convinced his fugitive son to hand himself in. Vandekeere reported to the Benoni police station with his dad and his attorney, after 6 years on the run.
Investigators had thought they had nearly caught up to Vandekeere a few times and were close to an arrest once in Belgium but with the help of friends and family, he escaped.
News of his rearrest was welcomed by the family of Chantelle Barnard, the alleged victim of Vandekeere according to Mike Bolhuis.
“The family are elated about this,” said Bolhuis who was hired by the Barnards to find Vandekeere.
Increased pressure had been placed on Vandekeere in recent months and Bolhuis believes this was instrumental in him handing himself in.
“I think the penny dropped, and he realised he couldn’t hide anymore,” said Bolhuis.
“I think he made the decision after a discussion with his father. I think his father played a major role in convincing him to get a solicitor and hand himself in.”
Vandekeere had initially been arrested in April 2011 after the body of Chantelle had been found. In 2012 he was released on R20 000 bail but in September 2013 he failed to appear in court and a warrant of arrest was issued.
Deon Pieterse, another investigator hired to find Vandekeere revealed that he had come close a number of times in catching the fugitive.
“Several times I came close to find him, but I think he was getting help from relatives,” said Pieterse.
Vandekeere will appear in court later this year.
“He has been remanded in custody at the Pretoria High Court and will appear again on the 27th of March at the same court,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
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