The mystery has been solved. The young man who emerged from the woods in Berlin almost one year ago claiming he had been living in a the forest with his father for five years has now been identified.
Police in Germany say his story was a hoax.
The young man has been identified as 20-year-old Robin van Helsum, from the Dutch town of Hengelo. Van Helsum was 19 years old when he went missing nine months ago. His step-mother identified him from the photo released earlier this week.
“We are 100 percent certain that he is this 20-year-old boy, because his step-mother positively identified him,” said a police spokeswoman. “We have made contact with his family and friends. A photo where you could see him with a chain round his neck showing his name provided the proof. We are very glad that he has been found.”
Van Helsum had told authorities that his mother, Doreen, had been killed in a car crash and that he’d been living in the forest with his father, Ryan, until his death last summer. That story was false.
Police have no idea what his motives were with the hoax, and they are questioning him again today. They say he doesn’t seem to suffer from any mental problems.
“This is no joke anymore,” said a Berlin police spokesman. “He made right fools of us. The costs could come down to him.”
More in the video below.
- Berlin: First Pictures of Ray, the ‘Forest Boy’, Released by German Police (ibtimes.com)
- ‘Forest boy Ray’ identified (thelocal.de)
- German ‘Forest Boy’ Photo Released By Berlin Police (purestrange.wordpress.com)