The Mysterious Berlin 'Forest Boy' Is Actually A Hoaxing DutchmanReported by Business Insider on Friday, 15 June 2012 (on June 15, 2012)
Last September, a boy walked into the suburbs of Berlin, telling those who found him that he had been living in the forests with his father for the past five years and had only returned to civilization once his father has died.
Authorities were perplexed. The boy knew only his own first name ("Ray"), and the first names of his two parents. He told authorities that he had only come back to the city after his father had died and he buried him under some rocks. He could not remember his life before the wilderness, only that he and his father had moved there when his mother died.
Why had they lived in the forest for so long? And who were they before? By last week, the police were desperate for information, and finally released a picture of the boy.
The picture has revealed the mystery, and — predictably — it's kind of weird.
As soon as the picture was released, Ray's real stepmother — living in Holland — phoned the police. The "forest boy" was her son, a 20-year-old Dutch boy named Robin van Helsum. He had not been seen by friends or relatives since September 4 last year, when he had apparently gone on a trip to Berlin, the Times of London reports.
Van Helsum's family had been worried, and released pictures of him and information, but Van Helsum hadn't wanted to be found — he wouldn't allow police to release a photo of him, for instance. One friend reportedly said he was having "personal problems" before he left.
The Dutchman had apparently been quite settled in his new Berlin environment, enjoying bowling and walks. However, he may not have too much more time to enjoy it.
"This is not fun anymore," police spokesperson Michael Maass told Die Welt. "He kept us deliberately fooled. Any costs would then come to him."
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