A Grim Search

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BRUSSELS, Belgium: Its a horror story that could have come from 'The Silence Of The Lambs.' Belgians are reeling from shock and anger over the discovery Saturday of the bodies of two long-missing eight-year-old girls, dug up from a makeshift grave, and the rescue of two other kidnapped teens from the basement dungeon of the suspect, a convicted child rapist who had been released early on parole. Handyman Marc Dutroux, whose confession led police to the bodies of the two dead girls, admitted he kidnapped two other missing teenaged girls, and a search is underway for their bodies. The search takes place amid suspicions that Dutroux is part of a large European child prostitution and pornography ring. Belgian police can now link Dutroux, who only served 3 years of his rape sentence, to seven child murders and kidnappings which have confounded Belgian investigators since 1989. Dutroux confessed that the two 8-year-old girls starved to death locked in his basement while he served a brief jail sentence last December. Dutroux said he killed partner Bernard Weinstein after he got out of jail and found Weinstein had neglected to feed the girls. After a search of Dutroux's property this weekend, another two girls were set free following a captivity during which Dutroux drugged and raped one of the girls. "There is certainly a furious reaction here in Belgium," says TIME's Jay Branegan. "The press is asking 'How could a sex offender be released after only three years to commit more crimes?' Now, people are calling for no parole in sex cases. The whole issue is so enormously emotional that it seems unlikely the government will resist the calls to change the legal system." -->