"We still have a lot of questions about what exactly is going on," say both police and mayor Roger de Groot on the day that it is announced that a family with five children have lived in isolation for nine years on a farm in Ruinerwold. What do we already know about what happened?
A young man, probably the oldest child (25), raised the alarm on Monday evening.
The pub owner of a local café called De Kastelein has outlined to several media that the confused man who said that evening said he had spent nine years withdrawn from the outside world on the farm, and that he was worried about his brothers and sisters.
The police are called in for this. Worn-out agents have found six people in the farm, a father and five of his adult children, in a "small room to be closed". "It is unclear whether they stayed there voluntarily. These people may have been staying on the property since 2010."
The police arrest a 58-year-old man from Ruinerwold because he did not cooperate with the search of the building. He is not the father of the children, but the tenant of the farm. According to the AD it is handyman Josef B., born in Austria. For the time being, the police just want to say that the man is trapped and is being questioned.
The café where the young man knocked on Monday night. (Photo: Pro Shots).
Children registered or not?
Mayor De Groot states on Tuesday during a press conference that several children of the family are registered with the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP). This raises the question why compulsory education officials did not intervene.
That same evening the police again denied that the children were known to the municipality. It is said that they were received and examined by a doctor. Medical details are not further provided.
53Drone films Drenthe farm where family was hidden for years
Social media accounts
The story becomes even more confusing as several media report that it seems that the eldest son may have had social media accounts and stated that he was working for the picked up B. There is a LinkedIn account, a Facebook account and find an Instagram account, complete with photos of nature and Ruinerwold.
On the Facebook account you can read that the mother of the children died in 2004 and that the family moved to Ruinerwold in 2010. After a period of radio silence, the accounts have been active again for a few weeks and sometimes months. If requested, the police cannot confirm that it is indeed the accounts of one of the adult children.
The investigators investigate under the leadership of the Public Prosecution Service whether criminal offenses have taken place at the farm. With regard to the 58-year-old arrested tenant, it will have to be decided whether he will be detained for longer or whether he may await further investigation in freedom.
RTV Drenthe , who was the first to bring the story of the family outside, said on Tuesday, based on sources, that the family was waiting for the end of time. If it is the case that the children who have reached the age of majority have been kept indoors for nine years and have not received any education, there may be neglect.
See also: Buurtwoners Ruinerwold: 'Always had the feeling that something was not right'