The first-year student of Health Sciences disappeared on the night of 31 August 1993 as she returned from a party by student association Circumflex in Maastricht, having gotten onto her bicycle heading in the direction of her student room in Gronsveld. She never arrived there.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please participate, help us by donating. Show that this doesn’t leave you untouched. Do it for Corrie and Adrie. Bring Tanja Groen home,” De Vries said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, 23 June, which he attended with Tanja Groen’s parents.
Mother Corrie Groen: “A girl who has just become a student, funny, beautiful, she slept in her room for five nights and then never returned home. We are hoping for one thing: that something will finally come of this.”
The cold case was regularly in the news over the past few years because of searches being carried out. There was a search for her body and her bicycle in the river Maas, and only last year, in a grave in a cemetery in Heugem, and last week on the Strabrechtse Heide in Brabant. But none of those searches yielded anything.
The reward of a million euro – a higher amount than has ever been offered in the Netherlands – will be paid to the person whose story leads directly to the discovery of her body. A foundation (Stichting De Gouden Tip) is behind the crowdfunding, set up by De Vries and four others. They state on their website that traditional rewards – of 15 to 25 thousand euro – as offered by the authorities, don’t work. “Nobody will stick their head out for that amount.”