Suspect arrested for murder of lawyer Claudia Van Der Stichelen
The police have arrested a suspect, almost two weeks after 58-year-old lawyer Claudia Van Der Stichelen was shot dead in front of her home in Sint-Lievens-Houtem. The East Flanders public prosecutor’s office and the mayor confirm this.
On Saturday, October 28, around 1:15 p.m., Claudia Van Der Stichelen, a lawyer at the Oudenaarde bar for more than thirty years, was shot dead in front of her villa in Sint-Lievens-Houtem. Her husband Eric Flamée (61), also a lawyer, was not at home at the time. Her 22-year-old son was home and was shot. He ended up in hospital, but was allowed to leave after a few days.
The perpetrator fled and had been missing since then. Even after distributing a robot photo and a search message, it was not possible to find him for almost two weeks. The lawyer’s son described the gunman as a balding man between 60 and 65 years old with short gray hair and a normal physique. He also spoke Flemish.
A suspect was arrested on Wednesday evening, the East Flanders public prosecutor’s office reports. The man was immediately questioned, Mayor Tim De Knyf confirmed to our editors. After the interrogation, it will be decided whether the man will be brought before the investigating judge in Oudenaarde, possibly for murder of the lawyer and attempted murder of her son. It is not yet clear whether the arrested man is the shooter. “We hope that it will actually be about the perpetrator. That would be a relief for the family and the community here, but we have to wait for the further steps in the investigation,” says De Knyf.
Minister of Justice Paul Van Tigchelt also confirms the arrest. “Two weeks ago, a lawyer died in a shooting in Sint-Lievens-Houtem. A suspect has now been arrested. May justice be done. Lawyers are the guardians of our rights and freedoms. They must be able to work safely and independently at all times,” the minister wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
The East Flemish public prosecutor’s office will only be able to provide more information about the case on Thursday.