Guus Van Hove, Dutch Visitor, May Be Among Joshua Tree Dead (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED)
UPDATE (3:30pm PST): The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has confirmed the identities of the two bodies found in Joshua Tree National Park as Augustinus Van Hove, age 44-years, of the Netherlands, and Helena Nuellett, age 38-years, of Germany.
PREVIOUSLY: Dutch tourist Guus Van Hove may be one of the two people found dead at Joshua Tree National Park Tuesday.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department will not confirm the identity of the people found until an autopsy is completed and the next of kin are fully notified, said a spokesperson. For now, they are pointing to a statement released yesterday.
Van Hove's company, 013, put out a statement (in Dutch) yesterday about his passing. Today, 013's Chairman of the Board Walter Hamers confirmed to The Huffington Post that both Van Hove's family and the company are awaiting more information about "the terrible accident in the desert."
According to Hamers, Van Hove's parents and sister visited 013 earlier that day to share the news about his death. Van Hove's family didn't share more information beyond the fact that he had died, says Hamers, because they are waiting for the investigation to be finished.
When pressed to confirm that Van Hove and his girlfriend (whose name has not been released) were indeed found at Joshua Tree National Park, Hamers said, "I can't confirm it and I can't deny it out of respect for the family."
Dutch news outlet Omroep Brabant reported that an employee of 013 tweeted a message of condolence that tied Van Hove's death to the recent Joshua Tree tragedy.
Translation: "Bizarre to read that Guus has died! My condolences to his family and friends (more detailed American news story: http://bit.ly/oYAkc7)"
The Associated Press reports that two bodies were discovered Tuesday at Joshua Tree National Park about one mile apart from each other on Black Eagle Mine Road. An abandoned car was also found on the same road, five miles away.
013 is a music production company with 30 employees. They produce about 300 concerts annually and feature everything from metal to world music.
Hamers said of Van Hove, "It's a very great loss for us. He was the face of all these concerts." In the statement released by 013 Hamers also said, "Guus was the head of 013 since May 1, 2003. For all these years, he worked with heart and soul for and with 013. With his boundless energy he turned 013 into what it is today."
CORRECTION: This post was edited to clarify a translation.