Sophia in The Daily Beast

This weekend a long article about Sophia’s mysterious disappearance in Uganda appeared in the American online magazine The Daily Beast.
It can be read here:

The article needs some comments:

– The title, ‘New Clues Could Solve Case of the Dutch Girl Lost in Africa’ is misleading, if not to say strongly exaggerated. Two witnesses who appear to be the last ones to have seen Sophia, as far as we know, do not align in their statements.
The ‘What, Why and How?’ has not yet been established.

– The new investigation was started in March 2022. It is correct that we have not seen a final report about this investigation.

– The most recent, preliminary, DNA investigation as done by Independent Forensic Services (IFS) is from April 2021, therefore it is not new. It has also been shared with other parties before.

Strange and Unreal Trail of Clues’

– The Student centre is not located in a wooded area, it’s a mainly open. The area between this location and the river bank is mixed, both wooded and open.

– The trash filled water bottle was found by a small party of Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers, not soldiers.

–  UWA rangers also found the trail of items on Friday morning, October 30th. The term ‘Rescue workers’ paints an incorrect image.

– The inside sole of the missing shoe was found, not the sole.

The DNA Evidence

– The DNA of the parents was taken to determine Sophia’s DNA, not to eliminate them on the found items. This was done by NFI. They later shared those findings with IFS, for the purpose of identifying Sophia’s DNA on the items.

‘You Expect Your Country to Help’ 

– The Dutch police officer is misquoted here. He said that many Dutch families feel left to fend for themselves, when something very serious happens abroad. He did not say that Dutch police prefers to have local police do the work.

‘More Here Than Meets the Eye’

– ‘extraordinary evidence’ is exaggerated, it is information that was not known before.

– ‘An unknown number of UPDF soldiers’, is not correct. There were a few UPDF officers who were seconded to UWA and worked as trainers to the UWA recruits.

Police Take a ‘Second Look’

– The link with the reference to the New Vision leads to an entirely different article, in the Daily Monitor, a different newspaper.

Sophia Disappears

– Sophia’s favourite song ‘Isabella’ was played on the car radio quite a bit later, according to the travel companions, not immediatelty after Sophia’s disappearance.

‘Meant to Look Like an Animal Attack’ 

– ‘Coyne observed that Koetsier was very close to the camp’
It is not known where Sophia was or went. Nor is it known if she laid out the items along the river bank herself, as is also mentioned several times in the article.

Caught in a Lie

– The Dutch detective has done research on over 50 cold cases, that were solved after a long period of time. He noticed that around 40% was solved due to people finally talking. Either because they’re no longer afraid to do so or because they had never been approached by police, or simply were not asked the right questions. Regrettably this very telling, and here very relevant, remark has been left out.

To Catch the Culprit

– Thus far a suspect has not been identified, the word ‘culprit’ is out of place.

Finally, the word ‘homicide’ is used frequently in this article.
We want to stress that Sophia is missing. We do not know if she is alive or not, where she is and what happened to her.
To our profound sadness, thus far no conclusive evidence has materialised to tell us anything more than that.

Marije Slijkerman
Amsterdam, September 24th, 2023