Jurgen Conings, 46, was on an anti-terrorist watch list and had threatened several people, including heavy weapons.
Belgian police say the body of a far-right fugitive soldier who was the target of one hunting the giant man seems to be found.
“According to the first elements of the investigation, it is Jurgen Conings,” a police statement said Sunday.
“The cause of death is probably, according to initial findings, attributable to suicide from the firearm,” he added, although this would be confirmed at a later date.
Hundreds of security forces have deployed a part of northeastern Belgium following the May 17 disappearance of Conings who was on an anti-terrorist watch list, had threatened several people and had stockpiled heavy weapons.
Conings had hidden anti-tank missile launchers and other heavy weapons in an army barracks before disappearing. The 46-year-old had a three-decade career as an expert shooter before beginning to make threats and racist remarks on Facebook. He was given disciplinary sanctions but was also allowed to work with weapons.
The body was found by people walking in the woods near the town of Dilsen-Stockem.
“During my mountain bike tour this morning, in a part where few people come, I smelled a strong corpse smell,” Johan Tollenaere of the eastern city of Maaseik told VRT news. “I immediately thought of Jurgen Conings and informed the police. They found the body, ”he said.
The manhunt has dominated newspaper headlines in the country, with some labeling Conings the “Belgian Rambo” after the 1980s action film starring Sylvester Stallone.
Among the people Conings had threatened was Marc Van Ranst, a leading virologist who became a target for conspiracy theorists, COVID skeptics and the Flemish far right in Belgium during the coronavirus crisis.
With Conings still at large, Van Ranst and his family were transferred to an undisclosed location.
“My thoughts go out to Jurgen Conings’ parents and children. For them it is very sad news, because they lost a father, a relative or a friend,” Van Ranst tweeted.
The affair has been a disgrace to the government since it was later revealed that Conings was on a watch list for his far-right views and had access to weapons.
It also garnered online support, with Facebook closing a page supporting Conings, which had gathered 45,000 members in just a few days.
Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder criticized the fugitive’s online support – condemning in particular the support from the Belgian armed forces.