The family of 21-year-old Mieke Oort, a Winchester native studying in the Netherlands who was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden, is mourning the loss of a young woman described by her sister as having “the most beautiful soul.”
Oort was identified by her older sibling, Danique Oort.
“She had the most beautiful soul,” Danique Oort said in a Facebook message to a Globe reporter Wednesday.
Two men were also injured in a “serious stabbing” in a house in Leeuwarden, local police said in a statement. A man suspected of carrying out the stabbing fled to Germany where he was arrested, police said.
Winchester school officials on Wednesday confirmed that Mieke Oort graduated from Winchester High School in 2019. An online video of the graduation ceremony showed Oort smiling as she crossed the stage, dressed in a red cap and gown, to accept her diploma.
Danique Oort told WCVB-TV that the 27-year-old man suspected of killing Mieke Oort, who is now in custody, had been stalking her, even putting a tracker on her bicycle.
Ingrid Coenen, a spokesperson for police in Leeuwarden told the Globe on Wednesday that under Dutch law, authorities aren’t permitted to provide a victim’s name or nationality.
Coenen confirmed a suspect had been arrested and referred a reporter to a prior statement from police.
“The police arrested a 27-year-old man from Leek on Sunday morning, March 6, around 5 a.m., who is suspected of being involved in a serious stabbing incident in a house on Tweebaksmarkt in Leeuwarden,” said an English translation of the police statement. “A 21-year-old woman from Leeuwarden was killed in this incident. A 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old man from Leeuwarden were also injured.”
Initially, police said, officials responded to the address at 3:36 a.m. for a report of a fire in progress. The blaze was quickly extinguished and Oort’s body was later discovered. Two men, 25 and 30, were also injured in the attack but survived, officials said.
Police said the suspect’s vehicle “set course for Germany” following the slaying, so authorities alerted their German counterparts to be on the lookout for the car.
The suspect, the statement said, was arrested in the German town of Leer. Coenen said Wednesday that the suspect hadn’t yet been brought back to the Netherlands. It wasn’t immediately clear when he’ll appear in a Dutch courtroom. Officials didn’t name him.
The statement said police are investigating what led up to the stabbing and carrying out “forensic and tactical investigations” in and around the residence where the killing occurred. They’re also interviewing surviving victims and “any other parties” with information, the statement said.
Michael van der Waal, a former boyfriend of Mieke Oort, told the Leeuwarden Courant, a Dutch newspaper, that the alleged killer had become enraged when she no longer wanted to see him.
“Because he couldn’t stomach that, he first stalked her for a while,” van der Waal told the Courant. “And out of jealousy, he has now done this.” A Globe request for comment was sent to van der Waal on Wednesday, but not immediately returned.
The college that Mieke Oort had been attending, the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, referred questions to law enforcement Wednesday. A school spokesperson said the college doesn’t provide information about its students.
Mieke Oort had said on her LinkedIn page that she began her studies at NHL Stenden in 2020.
She was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in leisure and events management and had been scheduled to graduate in 2024, according to her LinkedIn profile.
A friend and fellow Winchester High graduate, who asked that their name be withheld, said Mieke Oort played tennis but that an abiding passion was kiteboarding, a hobby she picked up during her many summers on the Cape with family.
“She loved to travel,” her friend said. “She was a very adventurous soul.”
Last summer, Mieke Oort had returned home to spend time with family on the Cape and in Maine, she posted to Facebook in August.
Above photos of smiling relatives and paragliders on the beach, Mieke Oort wrote Aug. 21: “Special moments in Cape Cod and Maine. Sad summer has to end with friends and family.”