Missing Madeleine
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Liam Vanden Branden

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Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:23




Liam Vanden Branden Liamva10

Missing Date: Thursday 02nd May 1996
Missing From: MECHELEN Antwerp Flanders
Missing Country: Belgium
Sex: Male
DOB: 01/Mar/1994
Age Now: 15

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milly
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Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:24

Child Focus warms up cold cases

Thu 10/12/2009 - 12:58 The European Centre for Missing Children Child Focus has released age-enhanced photographs of five of the country's most famous missing children and young people.



The agency now hopes to help in the search for five children and youngsters who disappeared over ten years ago.

The organisation hopes that its latest campaign will reach a number of people who until now have remained silent.

The photos that will be distributed as posters show how the children and young adults could look today.

The English forensic expert Teri Blythe used a special computer programme to produce photos of how the youngsters may look today.

She employed old photos of those that went missing but also images of parents and siblings.

With the passage of time many of the children should be young adults today.


Who went missing?

The five children and young adults at the centre of the campaign are:

Geyrive Cavas, who went missing from the Brussels borough of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek in 1985 at the age of 6

Ilse Stockmans, who disappeared from Aarschot in Flemish Brabant at the age of 19

Ten-year-old Nathalie Geijsbregts, who hasn't been seen since 1991

Liam Vanden Brande, a two-year-old who disappeared from Mechelen (Antwerp) in 1996

Conrad Bosmans from Etterbeek, who hasn't been seen since 1988 when he was 20

Photos of the five missing children and young adults are featured on a single poster. You can reach Child Focus on the toll free number 116000. From abroad call +32 2 475 44 99.

Belgian federal police can be reached on 0800 91 119.

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/news/091209_childfocus

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Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:24

As told by Dirk, Liam's father, to Humo, Belgian magazine
1 year after Liam disappeared


Liam was last seen on Friday, May 3rd, 1996. It was around 05:00 pm when he disappeared from my life. My little boy was only 2 years and 2 months.
It had been raining that day. Liam's grandmother had picked up Liam and his brother Levy (almost one year older) and brought them with her to her house. She had to do something at the bank, and she left Liam and Levy and their cousin Mike. Sandra, my sister-in-law, was keeping an eye on them. They were playing inside of the house.

Maybe Liam has been able to open the door, or maybe it was already open. Anyway, he was able to get outside, and since then we have lost every trace of him. When his grandmother left for the bank, she noticed that the frontdoor was open, and she locked it. Liam's bike and his bottle of milk were next to the door then. So, I presume that my son had already been able to walk out before his grandmother left the house.
Levy didn't notice anything. His cousin Mike is a little older, and later he told us he had seen a man with a beard. But isn't that just fantasy? The police think we should be very careful with that story. Mike had already told me once that Liam was drowned. A psychiatrist thinks that Mike picked up some things here and there and built his own story.

Sandra, who was working in the kitchen and didn't see Liam anymore, went to look for him inside and outside of the house and phoned the bank to check whether her mother didn't take the boy, but that wasn't the case. After that, Sandra noticed a man with a dark car. She asked him if he had seen a little child, but the man didn't answer, got into the car and drove away. My sister-in-law was able to write down three characters of his license plate. Under hypnosis they have been trying to find out the rest of the license plate, but that didn't work.

My mother-in-law lives near the "Zennegat" next to Mechelen. There are very little houses there. During the winter season you don't see a lot of people there, but the place has a lot of charm and in springtime a lot of tourists visit the place. Across the street there is a café that is often visited and Sandra went over there to get some help. Nobody had seen the boy. Some customers from the bar helped looking for Liam. Two of them have seen someone with a child at some distance but one them says he saw a man and the other claims it was a woman.

It was Friday, so I was shopping at the supermarket at that time. At 7:15pm the phone rang and my wife wanted me to come to the "Zennegat" immediately. When I arrived, the police and other people were already there... At the beginning, I thought it possible that Liam got into the water. The "Zennegat" is the place where 3 rivers join together. So, it's obvious that one immediately thinks of the water. The police decided very soon that my son drowned. On Saturday they used all possible means to find the body of my son in the water. They used two helicopters and trained dogs from Holland. And they had volunteers who helped looking.

The people from the "Organization for Kidnapped and Missing Children" and from "Marc et Corinne" helped us a big lot during those first days. The investigation was aimed totally at the "drowning"-theory, but Liam couldn't be found.

The day after Liam disappeared, I didn't believe anymore that he drowned. Right in front of the house of Liam's grandmother, there is a concrete wall that's almost as high as Liam himself. People who were working there all day, told me: "Dirk, we haven't seen Liam. As far as we're concerned, he didn't drown at all."

The next few days I've been looking all over for him, visiting all hospitals... but everything in vain.

I think that Liam has been kidnapped. In the best case by someone who can't accept the loss of his own child, and then he's probably still alive. In the very worst case he's the victim of a network. The "Zennegat" is only 5 minutes away from the highway Brussels-Antwerp.

Liam has been gone for a year now, and I still can't think about anything else. I wake up with him, and I go to sleep with him. I'm glad I have a lot of work, because I don't know how I would survive otherwise. I have nightmares. Two weeks ago I was dreaming I had found my son, but everyone kept saying "No, that isn't Liam!". I woke up in sweat.

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