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Creche killer suspected of earlier knife attack

Latest update : 2009-01-27

The suspect in a deadly knife attack at a Belgian day-care centre last week is believed to have murdered an elderly woman on January 16. Kim De Gelder, 20, was charged Saturday with killing two babies and a nurse.

AFP - The suspect in a deadly macabre knife attack on a Belgian day-care centre last week is also thought to have murdered an elderly woman earlier this month, authorities said Monday.

"The author of the deeds is also the author of an abominable crime committed against a 73-year old woman on January 16," prosecutor Christian Du Four told journalists.

The woman was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Beveren, near the northern city of Antwerp, as her husband was out visiting neighbours.

The murder left authorities puzzled as theft did not appear to be the motive.

Twenty-year-old Kim De Gelder was charged on Saturday with killing two babies, aged six and nine months, and a nurse in a gruesome knife attack at a creche in Dendermonde, southwest of Antwerp, on Friday.

Du Four said that De Gelder probably intended to attack other nurseries.

"He had a list of three creches in Dendermonde, including the one where he acted," the prosecutor said.

In an attack that shocked the nation, a man wearing face paint barged into the centre with a 30-centimetre (12-inch) long knife and began slashing some of the children lying in beds, none more than three years old.

As well as the three killed, 10 children and two staff were wounded, some seriously.

The nursery nurse was killed as she tried to protect her charges.

Date created : 2009-01-26