YouTuber makes breakthrough in cold case of missing woman

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Nijmegen/Verdun – More than 30 years after the disappearance of Elisabeth Wessels, the woman has been identified. The French Youtuber ‘Bruno’ from Infocrimes managed to make the link between a nameless woman buried in France and the missing Wessels.

Image: Elisabeth Wessels.

The originally German woman lived in Nijmegen for a long time in the 1980s, where she had joined a sect. At the end of the 1980s she moved to France with that group. Wessels was last seen alive in 1989.

Nameless grave

The woman’s body was found in Verdun, France in 1989. Despite an investigation by the French police at the time, it was never clear who the unknown woman was. Wessels was then buried in a nameless grave. The French YouTuber ‘Bruno’ often investigates cold cases. In one of his investigations, he came across an article by an anonymous woman in Verdun. He eventually made a possible link with the missing woman from the Netherlands.

French research

After the Dutch police compared the DNA of the anonymous woman and family of Wessels, it became clear that the anonymously buried woman in Verdun is the missing Elisabeth Wessels. It is not clear how she died.

The French police investigated the woman found at the time. When they did not get clarity about who the woman was and where she came from, the investigation was stopped. Wessels was reported missing in the Netherlands in the 1980s. At that time, DNA was not recorded in a database and sharing information between different countries was not common.

Police investigation in East Netherlands

In February 2013, a new investigation into this disappearance was conducted. Elisabeth’s disappearance was also shared through various channels. She was spotted internationally (again) and the case was posted on

No DNA was available from Elisabeth herself. That is why in 2013, familial DNA was taken from two brothers and two sisters and included in the Dutch missing persons database. In the same year, France was requested to compare familial DNA with unknown dead women in France. That did not provide a link at the time.

The fact that the match is now available is thanks to great cooperation between the Gelderland-Zuid police, the East Netherlands cold case team and the great efforts of ‘Bruno’. Thanks to the complete file and the correct information from the Frenchman, the cold case team was able to conduct follow-up investigations, which ultimately led to power


‘We are very grateful that through the efforts of ‘Bruno’, Elisabeth Wessels’ family has received answers after all these years. We also realize that many questions can never be answered. We have previously thanked him for his efforts, said Miranda Baas, missing persons specialist of the East Netherlands cold case team.

This week the Frenchman was in Ede for a meeting with the cold case team. Appreciation has been expressed again and again for each other’s efforts. The French television channel M6 was also present at the meeting. Later this year they will publish a documentary about ‘Bruno’s searches in unsolved cases.

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