Claudia is seven months pregnant and standing in her garden with her husband Marlon and his brother Leo. Her four children are playing inside. The three go outside to discuss the final details for the funeral of Marlon and Leo’s father, who died suddenly two days earlier.
Then disaster struck. “Suddenly someone literally jumped into the front yard and started shooting,” says Claudia in the podcast special The Crime Bureau. Two bullets hit the pregnant Claudia. Injured, she flees inside. “I immediately thought of my children,” she says. The mother of four sent her children to the attic. She called 112, but before the ambulance arrived, Marlon died in her arms. “I grabbed him and put his head on my legs. He stopped responding. I heard a scream and saw his eyes go away. Dead.”
‘Nobody knows anything’
7.5 years after the fatal shooting, the case is a cold case. Claudia still doesn’t know who the shooter is. Was it a conflict, was it a mistake? Questions that Claudia has no answers to. “That’s very frustrating and to this day I still don’t understand it. Nobody knows anything. I really don’t understand that.”
It is unclear whether Marlon or Leo, who was also hit but survived the attack, had a criminal past. No indications have been released about this. There may have been a conflict, but it is not known what ultimately led to the shooting incident. Just like the question of who the bullets were actually intended for: all three were hit by bullets.
Sometimes Claudia had wanted the assassination attempt to be related to a possible criminal past of Marlon or his brother. “Then I would have understood where it came from, because to this day I don’t know. There was nothing wrong and suddenly he was gone. Someone took him away. Why?”
In the eyes of Claudia, the police “did too little” to find out who the perpetrator was. Only when Wicky van der Meijs, who is a surviving relative and now assists people whose cases have been labeled a cold case, raised the alarm with the police, Claudia was visited by the police again. “Then they came with other detectives. I saw them for the first time. The case is now a cold case and they will only do something again if a useful tip comes in.”
It is difficult for Claudia that action is only taken then. “I don’t want pity, but I do want it for my children,” she says. “People don’t realize how far this goes. It’s not just that our children have suddenly lost their father in a way you wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s everything. Your children’s fear, the questions they constantly have. Their entire development and their lives are ruined because of this. That will remain.”