“The nightmare has become reality,” the family wrote. “Sam was found today in the Leidsevaart. We will go to him as soon as possible. We want to express our incredible thanks to everyone who has helped us and supported us. Now we want to say goodbye to Sam in peace and we hope you respect our privacy.”
The police also announced via Twitter that the body found belongs to the missing Sam. “We wish all relatives a lot of strength,” said the police.
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Part of the Leidsevaart was closed off on Friday afternoon, because the boy had cycled past there in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. A police boat and helicopter were also used in the search.
Sam from Overveen (North Holland) got on his bike around 1 a.m. on Thursday in Heemstede, about 5 kilometers from his hometown, but never arrived home.
Hundreds of people helped with the search
His family reported the 17-year-old missing on Thursday and launched a search. As a result, in addition to the police, hundreds of volunteers in the area also searched for Sam on Friday, the spokeswoman said. Dozens of tips had also come in.
About 1:00 PM Friday afternoon, the volunteers gathered at the Hooftman home to help search for Sam. A speech was given in which everyone was thanked for their involvement.
Everyone received data about clothing, mobile phone and other characteristics via the app. The last signal from Sam’s cell phone was picked up just before 2 a.m. in the night from Wednesday to Thursday.
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People gather to look for Sam.
Ⓒ NORTH DUTCH DIARY
Dutch celebrities such as Beau van Erven Dorens and Leontine Borsato shared a call on social media to look out for Sam.