It was assumed for many years that the naked, leaf-covered body belonged to a missing 18-year-old girl from a neighboring village. However, that theory was ruled out in 2006 when the missing girl, now an adult, reported to the police.
Based on later research on the epiphyseal plates, the Heul Girl would have been 12 to 15 years old at the time of death, putting her date of birth between 1960 and 1965. Isotope research on her teeth showed that the decedent probably lived between the Ruhr and Eifel regions of Germany for the first seven years of her life. Around 1975, the child was likely in East Germany or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. The year prior to her death, she supposedly stayed in either West Germany or the Netherlands. In that year, the girl received particularly poor nutrition, which may indicate extreme poverty or a possible kidnapping.
In 2016, the German judiciary gave permission to start a large-scale investigation based on the girl's DNA. This is a joint operation by both countries, in which DNA databases from both countries will be utilised. At the end of 2018, the Utrecht police confirmed that DNA testing had not started yet.
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- Elsbeth Stoker (25 February 2013). "Who was this girl? The police search, to the atom" (in Dutch). De Volkskrant. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "New Light on Heul Girl Murder Case – 2013 – Faculty of Science". science.vu.nl. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- "Maarsbergen – The Heul Girl" (in Dutch). 12 November 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Large search into Heul Girl DNA match" (in Dutch). De Volkskrant. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016. (subscription required)
- "Unidentified victim, found in 1976 in the Netherlands" (in German). BKA. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "577UFNET". The Doe Network. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- "DNA kinship research to discover who the Heul Girl was" (in Dutch). NOS. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Heul Girl DNA test still not started". RTV Utrecht (in Dutch). 5 November 2018.