For many teenagers worldwide, the summer holiday is the best time of the year not only to take a break from busy school days but also to get a taste of employment through part-time jobs.
When daily school routine is paused, one of the best ways to keep the mind occupied is getting busy earning money, as in the case with 15-year-old Nicole van der Hurk, who in summer 1995 spent her time in her grandmother’s house in Eindhoven and working at the local supermarket. She rode a bicycle to work every morning.
In the morning on October 6, 1995, Nicole was supposed to go to work as usual, but she never arrived. Nobody knew where she was. A team of police officers was quickly dispatched to search that day.
At around six in the evening, they could only find her bicycle near a water treatment plant. For weeks, the search went on without a result.
Some believed Nicole went back to her hometown in Germany. Finally, on November 22, a passerby came across the remains of a girl in the section of the forest near her grandmother’s house.
It was Nicole van der Hurk; she had been raped and murdered.
10 Declared Missing
Nicole van der Hurk was declared missing on October 6, 1995, after she had failed to arrive at work at the Woensel shopping center.
Any trace of her was gone, except for her bicycle, which was found at around 6 pm in the River Dommel.
The police began questioning her family and friends in the hope of finding clues to her whereabouts.
During the first days of the search, there was no indication of foul play, although the authorities could not rule out the possibility of a crime in her disappearance.
9 Initial Search Party
Based on the location of her bicycle, a search party consisting of 45 officers were combing through a section of Eckart hiking forest located behind the water treatment plant where the bike had been found.
The area was circled entirely, and every pool of water was checked. Police also search for clues in the overflow sewers at the river Dommel.
At the same time, police conducted interviews with Nicole’s parents and classmates. Ad and Yolanda van der Hurk said they did not expect anything but only hoped to see her again.