‘Forest Boy’ turns out to be missing 20-year-old man from the Netherlands, proving whole ‘Tarzan’ story was a lie. Photo via German authorities.
German authorities, who have been mystified by a boy who showed up at a city hall in Berlin last fall claiming he had spent the last 5 years living in the forest, sent out a world-wide press release earlier this week seeking the boy’s identity. As a last ditch effort, the German authorities decided to release a photo of the boy to the media. Authorities originally went to Interpol, the world authority on missing children, to find out if the boy had been the victim of abduction but Interpol had no information on the boy.
The boy, who claimed to not know his last name, said his father called him “Ray”. The boy told the German authorities a shocking and disturbing story about his mother dying in a car crash 5 years prior and that his father had taken him out to live in the forest, outside of civilization. He claimed they lived in tents and hunted for food. He says he ultimately sought the help of outsiders, making a long trek into the city of Berlin when his father passed away. He claimed to have buried his father in the woods although authorities were never able to find the body.
The boy spoke perfect English and wasn’t familiar with German, however, he adapted to all the modern amenities of today, picking up on technology like cell phones and laptops. His quick adaptation only further raised suspicion among police.
The boy’s story didn’t add up.
Authorities released a photo of the boy earlier this week to a successful outcome however, although his story proved to be false.
The boy is actually a man and not a boy. He is a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who went missing last September 2011, around the time he showed up in Berlin, claiming to be a real life ‘Tarzan boy’.
A former girlfriend called German authorities yesterday to tell them she recognized the man as Robin van Helsum who left his parents home last fall, leaving behind a note. While he was reported missing, he wasn’t part of a large scale hunt because he was an adult whom family members believed had left on his own accord. The man’s step-mother was contacted and further confirmed Helsum’s identity.
Authorities are now considering charging ‘Forest Boy’ with fraud.
The man’s father was sick when he left home and died during Helsum’s ‘Forest boy’ scheme. A motive for Helsum’s lie is not known at this time.
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