Whoever said that nothing interesting ever happens in Belgium.
Here is a story about a skydiver who has been detained by police suspected of sabotaging a friend’s parachute and watching her fall 13,000 feet to her death after discovering that the woman was having an affair with her boyfriend.
The suspected crime of passion came took place last November when Els Van Doren (37), died in an apparent high altitude accident after her parachute and emergency chute failed to open.
In a macabre twist the police recovered video footage of the jump taken by Ms Van Doren on a head camera showing how she struggled to open her parachute.
Police now believe someone tampered with her skydiving equipment. Michel Zegers from the Tongeren prosecutor’s office named fellow skydiver, Els Clottemans, as prime suspect.
Ms Clottemans (22) was detained for questioning last week, though no charges have yet been filed.
Investigators believe Ms Clottemans and Ms Van Doren, who belonged to the same parachute club and were friends, had a relationship with the same man, a Dutch national identified as “Marcel.”
Newspapers have suggested that Ms Clottemans murdered Ms Van Doren, a married mother-of-two, in an extreme act of revenge, after learning about her love rival’s affair with her boyfriend.
A court will assess the evidence next month but Mr Zegers said: “I believe we can call this a crime of passion.”
Ms Van Doren had jumped from a plane with three others, including Ms Clottemans and the Dutch boyfriend. But when her parachutes failed to work, Ms Van Doren plunged to her death at 130mph near Opglabbeek, a small town in central Belgium.
Police subsequently said the victim’s parachute could only have been tampered with by someone with extensive skydiving expertise.
Ms Clottemans initially escaped attention during a first round of police questioning because of her friendship with the victim.
But she became a suspect in December when she attempted suicide hours before she was to make a second statement to police.
Ms Clottemans is said to have a history of psychological problems.
Stranger than fiction.