Germany's 'forest boy' made up story, police say
- 15 June 2012
- From the section Europe
A youth who turned up in Berlin last year saying he had been staying in woods for five years made up the story, German police have said.
Police said the boy, who called himself "Ray", was actually a Dutch 20-year-old who had been living in the Netherlands until last September.
They say his Dutch stepmother identified him from police photos. His real name is said to be Robin.
The boy was dubbed the "forest boy" by German media.
He became known after turning up at Berlin city hall late last year, claiming he was 17 years old and that he had lived in the woods for years with his father after the death of his mother.
He told police he had left the forest after his father died and he had buried the body.
But officers failed to locate the remains and said they had doubts about the story.
Possible fraud charges
A police statement on Friday said the boy had admitted inventing the story after being confronted with the results of the investigation.
It is not clear why Robin left the Netherlands and ended up in Berlin.
He spoke only English and a few words of German at the time, but quickly picked up the language.
Klaus Schubert, a spokesman for the Berlin police, said the new details had come to light after police published a photo of the boy and appealed for information.
He said police were considering charging him with fraud.
German news agency DPA says he was last seen in the Dutch town of Hengelo in September - just days before he surfaced in Berlin.
A Dutch school friend told Dutch television that the man had "personal problems".