Mellée was found shot to death in the summer of 2018 in the house of his girlfriend Debbie at Het Oosterveld. Shortly afterwards a number of suspects were arrested, including Debbie, but also released again. Then it was silent for 3.5 years. Until Debbie was arrested again late last year, as was a friend of hers.
In two weeks, both suspects must appear in public for the first time. Today, the court had to decide whether Debbie would be held until that hearing, after it was decided in mid-December to keep her in jail for at least another 60 days during the investigation. That deadline expired today.
Justice has presented the evidence about her alleged involvement in the murder to the judges. On that basis, she was detained longer.
The proof consists of several parts. For example, her DNA material was found on a bullet casing, which was found close to Mellée’s lifeless body. There were also gunpowder marks on a vest she had worn. Those gunpowder marks were the same as those found on Daan’s body.
Furthermore, a witness has heard that Debbie has threatened the later victim with death. Finally, a friend of Debbie’s has said in an overheard conversation that Debbie issued the murder order.
DNA and blood
Attorney Tuma has tried to get client Debbie out. According to him, the shell casing that was found also contains DNA from other people. And according to him it is not strange that her DNA is on it, because the shell was found in her house. “Her DNA is everywhere and could have gotten there through secondary transmission.”
According to Tuma, that vest with gunpowder marks was worn by several people, given the DNA material that was found on it. According to lawyer Tuma, the witness who heard that his client made death threats to Daan Mellée is a friend of the victim and therefore ‘colored’. “In addition, her teeth had just been knocked out of her mouth by Mellée, the blood was gushing out.”
And the friend who designated Debbie as the client in a wiretapped telephone conversation, says afterwards to the police that “she pulled it out of her thumb”. Tuma also says that his client has an alibi. However, the court decided that there are too many grounds to keep her longer.
In addition to Debbie, there is a second suspect in the murder case who is incarcerated. That’s Daniel V. An anonymous witness testified that Daniel pulled the trigger.
The first public hearing is due in two weeks. The status of the police investigation is then discussed and whether the suspects will be held for longer. A third suspect is still on the loose.
“We are very curious how the first public session will go,” says the father of the victim Daan. “For the time being, it is a good sign that the two main suspects are in custody.”
RTV East crime reporter Tom Meerbeek has made a podcast series about the case. The series is called ‘Moord op het Oosterveld’ and can be found on all podcast services.