Willeke Dost: new excavation planned

Willeke Dost

Willeke Dost

UPDATE NOV 12, 2018: nothing was found.

Dutch police made the following announcement: “The Drenthe police are launching a new search for Willeke Dost, a then 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her foster parents’ farm in Koekange in 1992. The police will dig in an area near the farm where witnesses say they saw digging around the time of the girl’s disappearance, NOS reports.”

The new excavation plans are prompted by an ongoing effort to find Willeke. Witnesses who came forward after the last unsuccessful excavation now point to another spot and indicated they saw someone there with a wheelbarrow. The excavation will start within a week.


Whenever we deal with excavations we must keep in mind the words guest blogger Stephen Richey wrote when he discussed the excavations in the case of the missing Beaumont Children.

Without getting into anything too graphic, I should point out that at this point it is unlikely that a search and excavation – no matter how thorough – is likely to turn up what most people imagine when you say “skeletal remains”. Ground water, the pH level of the soil, bacteria, fungi, the simple weight of the overlying soil all have had a very long time to alter the condition of the remains. It is hard enough on the comparatively denser and more robust remains of an adult let alone juvenile skeletal elements.”

Please read that post for a better understanding of what police might and might not find.

Case overview:

On January 15, 1992, Willeke Dost (Nov 26, 1976 – Jan 15, 1992 date missing) left her foster parents’ farm early in the morning by bike. She was 15 years old.

Willeke’s parents died in a fatal car crash in 1976 when Willeke was an infant. She was temporarily placed with her grandmother but grew up in various foster families until in 1986; she was placed with the foster family in Koekange. They already had a daughter and two sons.

Willeke is presumed dead. In 1992, the theory was that most likely Willeke had run away but now police think that she was murdered shortly after she disappeared. They believe that the original crime scene is near the foster parents’ farm. Despite excavations in 2010 at the farm and divers checking various pieces of water after a rumor surfaced about a rolled up piece of carpet that might have a body inside, the case remains unsolved.