Entertainment And News

4-Year-Old Boy Dies While Being Babysat By ‘Cuddly Uncle’ Who Previously Killed A 2-Year-Old Child

Photo: Facebook
Dave De Kock, Dean Verberckmoes

The body of a 4-year-old Belgian boy was found in the Netherlands after he had been missing for five days.

In which a massive search was sparked that spanned over two countries, police discovered the body of Dean Verberckmoes, who had been abducted by his babysitter and close family friend.

Verberckmoes had been found at the back of a car park near a theme park on Neetltje Jans, an island in the southern Dutch Zeeland province.

The alarm was raised about the boy's disappearance after Dave De Pock, 34, failed to return him to his grandmother last Thursday.

Dave De Pock has been arrested in connection with Dean Verberchmoes's murder.

De Kock's arrest came after residents in Gorinchem, in South Holland province, called authorities, complaining of an intoxicated man who was peering into houses.

Belgian prosecutors had recently shared that De Kock had previously been given a 10-year jail sentence for the neglect and abuse of a two-year-old boy, which resulted in his death in 2008.

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De Kock's sentence had ended in December 2018, and authorities believe he had most likely hid his arrest from Verberckmoes mother, Elke Verberckmoes, in order to gain access to her son.

De Kock was a close family friend of the 4-year-old.

De Kock, who was described as a "cuddly uncle" to the 4-year-old boy, had regularly looked after him for his mother, who was receiving treatment for her depression.

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Elke told Belgian media that she had trusted De Kock, who was not biologically related to the family, with her son, and had no idea that he had been convicted of murder for the "inhumane acts resulting in death" of Miguel Van Kriekinge.

“Dave would take care of my son, which he did every Wednesday. They get along very well and Dean considers him something of a cuddly uncle. There was no indication that he had other plans this time," Elke said.

The child's last words to his mother before his death had been, "Goodbye mum, I'm going to miss you."

The boy had been last seen by Elke after De Kock had dropped her off at a hospital in Sint-Niklaas, a city near Antwerp, where she had been staying for a sceduled treatment.

After dropping off Elke, De Kock took the boy to his house in Kerkstraat in Sint-Gillis-Waas where he lived with his girlfriend, telling the little boy's grandmother that Dean wanted to stay an extra night.

De Kock meticulously remained in contact with Dean's mother via text message for a few days, but when he stopped texting Elke authorities were alerted.

The previous conviction that De Kock was charged for had happened after he had befriended the victim's mother, Sandra Verbeek, 35. He had lived with Verbeek for four weeks before her son's death.

De Kock's girlfriend has also been arrested and charged in her connection involving Dean's death.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.