Two Dutch brothers were abducted by their father. Only rarely, a missing child’s case kept a whole country in its grip for such a long period of time. The mother of the two boys emotionally appealed to the public, resulting in hundreds of volunteers joining the search: “Please help me find my little boys, they are missing since yesterday morning.” Sadly, the bodies of the boys were found two weeks later in Cothen. the Netherlands. It is assumed their father took their lives before he committed suicide.

On May 8th 2013, Europe’s very first cross border child alert was issued for two small Dutch boys: Julian (7) and Ruben (9). The boys were nowhere to be found, and one feared for their lives. As it turned out, the father committed suicide, after he killed the boys first.

The alert was disseminated by AMBER Alert Europe (EU), AMBER Alert (NL), ChildFocus (BE) and Initiative Vermisste Kinder (DE). 1.95 million people in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were instantly informed via mobile phones, social media, apps, etc.In addition, the boys’ photo was displayed on large screens throughout the Netherlands, in the Belgian province of Limburg and in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE).