The reconstruction of the murder of Julie Van Espen was interrupted Tuesday afternoon in Merksem (Antwerp). The suspect, Steve Bakelmans, reportedly said on the spot that he refused to cooperate in this reconstruction.
The reconstruction of the murder of Julie Van Espen will have lasted only 30 minutes, indicates the wooden floor of Antwerp. It was not possible to sue her because of the refusal of the collaboration of the only suspect: Steve Bakelmans. He would have refused to leave the prison where he is locked up. "They're upset, it's like a slap"said John Maes, a lawyer for the Van Espen family, to Nicolas Lowyck's micro RTL INFO. "They knew that the day of reconstitution was coming, and they were ready for it, they did not want to be there, but still, it was necessary for the investigation to happen, to receive a phone call from me, saying, this gentleman does not want to collaborate, there is reconstitution, for the family, in short, it is difficult to accept, really ".
Steve Bakelmans has the right not to cooperate, says the lawyer. "But even so, it also means that he does not have much respect for the right of my clients and their feelings, that's another thing"he adds.
Julie's family does not want "any confrontation with the suspect"
The reconstitution should last several hours. Police erected a security perimeter at the Vaartdijk, near the crime scene, to perform the reconstitution at all discretion.
It's been two months since Julie Van Espen's family is in mourning. "My clients do not want any confrontation with this gentleman, which is why they were not present today"says John Maes again.
Next week, the family will have access to the archive. "I will try, after reading the file, to give some answers to the questions they had from the beginning"concludes the lawyer.
Julie was found dead in early May
The 23-year-old student disappeared on May 4, when she was pedaling between her home in Schilde and Antwerp, where she had to find friends. Two days later, his body was found during searches on the Albert Canal. On the same day, Steve Bakelmans, 39, was identified as suspect and imprisoned. The man, already convicted of rape and released for a second case of rape by which he was summoned, would have attempted to rape the student and kill her while defending herself.