The police cannot confirm whether the person who was found is the 18-year-old student. Police spokesperson Ron Reinds says that the department is operating under the assumption that Pennink may have been involved in a fatal accident. Several searches which were conducted over the weekend yielded nothing.
The body was removed around 2 p.m. and then taken to a hospital for identification and examination, according to the police.
The police reported that Pennink was last seen on security camera footage around 5:30 a.m. strolling past a coffee shop. ‘That is in the vicinity of Spilsluizen. His route should have been across one of the bridges toward the Noorderstationsstraat back to his student house. Police dogs followed his trail to the Spilsluizen area as well’, says Reinds.
Levenloos lichaam aangetroffen in het water van het Lopendediep #Groningen
— Politie Groningen (@polgroningen) October 10, 2016
(Police tweet: Body found in water at the Lopendediep)
Without a trace
A unit of the National Police Agency was called in to search a section of the water – between the Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat and the Oude Boteringestraat – with boats and sonar devices. Aside from abandoned bicycles, the search team found nothing.
A search conducted by around 200 acquaintances of Pennink, including members of Vindicat, also failed to provide any leads. ‘That is why we are assuming that this was a fatal accident. There are no indications that any criminal activity was involved. If he was staying somewhere, he would have notified someone by now.’
The police are still searching for additional camera footage of Pennink from other businesses in the vicinity. The police hope that footage along the route between Spilsluizen and the Noorderstationsstraat, where the student lives, will give them a clearer idea of his movements. ‘But if we cannot access any other video footage, then we will look under the boats on the Spilsluizen’, says Reinds.