Torso found in Amsterdam river in 2013 linked to missing Russian art dealer

A torso found wrapped in a blue tarp nine years ago is that of a Russian person, Amsterdam police said on Tuesday. The remains were found nine years ago on the IJ River in Amsterdam and a DNA match was made this month. The victim was reported missing in Russia, and his family members voluntarily gave samples so that DNA would be included in an international database.

“The victim was a wealthy Russian businessman engaged in the art and antiques trade. Because of the war in Ukraine, there is no contact with the Russian authorities, and the relatives of the man, who are known to live in Russia, cannot be informed about his death,” police said. Authorities refused to announce the victim’s identity in a statement, pending family notification.

A passer-by found a package wrapped in blue plastic along the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam-Noord on 30 January 2013. Police pulled the package from the water and determined it was the torso of a human male. No other remains were ever found. The torso was eventually buried in an Amsterdam West cemetery.

The discovery of the torso was brought back into the spotlight in January by the cold case squad. A 15,000 euro reward was offered to anyone who could provide the definitive clue to solve the mystery. “We reopened the investigation and are primarily looking for witnesses and people who know more about the deceased person. There has never been a person who reported anything about a missing person that we could connect to the murder,” investigation team leader Ercan Turan told De Telegraf in January.

Since then, a few tips came in, but police said they are still hoping more people come forward.

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