The small group of buildings after a family group were discovered to be living in secluded conditions in Ruinerwold, 130 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday Oct. 15, 2019. (RTL Netherlands via AP)

Man arrested in discovery of Dutch family living in isolation for 9 years

Family was only discovered after one of them managed to leave the farm and go to a local bar

Prosecutors said Wednesday they are charging a 58-year-old man arrested in connection with the discovery of a Dutch family who lived largely isolated from the outside world for nine years.

Prosecutors announced on Twitter that the man, whose identity was not released, is suspected of involvement in “deprivation of liberty and harming the health of others.”

The man, widely reported in Dutch media to be a 58-year-old Austrian national identified only as Jozef B., was scheduled to appear before an investigating judge on Thursday.

Prosecution spokeswoman Melanie Kompier declined to give further details on the case or confirm the suspect’s identity.

The man, who rented the farm where the people were found, was initially detained by police for not co-operating with their investigation, which continued Wednesday with officers searching two other locations in a nearby village.

Six members of a family, reportedly a father and children aged 18-25, were discovered this week living in what local mayor Roger de Groot called “improvised rooms” on a farm in the Netherlands’ rural east.

They were discovered after one family member left the farm, visited a local bar and raised the alarm.

Drone images of the farm showed a cluster of buildings with a large vegetable garden on one side. The small property appeared to be ringed by a fence and largely obscured by trees.

Unconfirmed reports said the family had withdrawn from society, fearing the end of the world was approaching.

READ MORE: British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

Dutch media reported Wednesday that the 25-year-old man who raised the alarm had been active in recent weeks on social media, including saying that he worked for a company run by the suspect who is to be charged.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bailey’s celebrating 100 years of farming in B.C.

Vanderhoof farm received the Century Farm Award awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Alice in Wonderland Jr. coming to Vanderhoof this March

W.L. McLeod Elementary presents its 12th production

Mainly sunny Saturday, but cloudy weather in the forecast

Environment Canada weather report for the week of Feb. 24

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

UPDATE: Two missing scout leaders found near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, prior to search for two leaders who’d gone for help

Most Read