LIEGE, Belgium – Belgian authorities confirmed the discovery Wednesday of a second body in their search for two missing schoolgirls. Two stepsisters, aged 7 and 10, disappeared from a street party more than two weeks ago.
The first body found was believed to be that of 7-year-old Stacy Lemmens.
Stacy vanished from a late night street party June 10 along with Nathalie Mahy, 10. Liege Prosecutor Cedric Visart de Bocarme said police had found a body "with all the characteristics of Stacy" along a railroad track close to where the girls went missing.
"We can confirm that a second body has been found 10 meters from the first," added Anne-Marie Bourguignont, another prosecutor in this eastern city.
A convicted child rapist, Abdallah Aid Oud, 39, has been charged with the girls' kidnapping and has been held by police since handing himself in on June 13. Aid Oud denies any involvement in their disappearance.
The girls' disappearance has shocked Belgium and revived painful memories of the killing spree of child rapist Marc Dutroux 10 years ago. His two youngest victims, schoolfriends Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo, aged 8, were snatched from a near street in Liege and were found dead a year later.
In a statement Elio Di Rupo, premier of the French-speaking Wallonia region, said the discovery of the bodies marked "a new black day for Belgium."
The first body was found in long grass alongside railroad tracks about 500 meters from the cafe where the girls were last seen. Aid Oud was the boyfriend of a waitress in the cafe and police say he was seen in the area shortly before the girls vanished.
He was released in December after serving a second sentence for raping a minor.