Dutch police found a family of seven people hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years “waiting for the end of time”, officials said Tuesday.
They discovered a man, believed to be the father of the family, and six of his children aged between 18 and 25 near the village of Ruinerwold in the northern province of Drenthe.
Police arrested a 58-year-old man at the scene but he was not the father.
“I have never come across anything like this before,” local mayor Roger de Groot told a press conference.
“Police investigated after receiving a tip-off from somebody who was concerned about the people’s living conditions” and discovered the adults, de Groot said.
“They lived an isolated lifestyle,” he said, adding that they had been living on the homestead for the past nine years and several of the children “had not been taken up in the birthing register” or officially registrated.
Many questions were unanswered and police are investigating “all scenarios”, the mayor added.
Local news station RTV Drenthe, which first reported the story, said the family “have been living in a basement for years, waiting for the ‘end of time’.”
Some of those freed “had no idea that other people existed,” the station added.
Police were alerted after a man of around 25, believed to be the family’s oldest son, walked into a village bar on Sunday evening.
The dishevelled man, unwashed and wearing old clothes said “he has not been ‘outside’ for the past nine years,” bar owner Chris Westerbeek told RTV Drenthe.
“He said he’d never been to school and seemed very confused. He spoke in a childish way,” said Westerbeek.
The man told Westerbeek he ran away from home and urgently needed help, “so I phoned the police.”
Upon investigation police discovered a hidden staircase behind a cupboard leading to a cellar where a man said to be the family’s father and five others, believed to be his children, were hiding.
Disturbing video exposes the dangerous message a State Patrol officer told team: ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’
Krystal Marx, the executive director of Seattle Pride, shared a disturbing video this week revealing the violent message an officer in the Washington State Patrol gave to his team as it prepared to confront protesters.
“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” he said as he walked through a group of his colleagues.
“I remember shaking,” Marx told the Seattle Times of the experience filming the patrol from her office window. “Why not say, ‘Restrain them, calmly’?”
Chris Loftis, a spokesperson for the patrol, gave the Times a statement trying to explain away the comment as poor “word choice,” but it was not reassuring:
Siberia 10C hotter in warmest May on record: EU
Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average last month in Siberia, home to much of Earth's permafrost, as the world experienced its hottest May on record, the European Union's climate monitoring network said Friday.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said May 2020 was 0.68C warmer than the average May from 1981 to 2010, with above average temperatures across parts of Alaska, Europe, North America, South America, swathes of Africa and Antarctica.
Globally, "the average temperature for the twelve months to May 2020 is close to 1.3C above the (pre-industrial) level", Copernicus said referring to the benchmark by which global warming is often measured.
Trump stokes division in Republican Party as he rages at Sen. Lisa Murkowski
As the Republican Party is struggling to defend him in a moment of nationwide strife, President Donald Trump decided Thursday night to fuel divisions within GOP rather than make nice.
He had already lashed out on Wednesday at his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who sharply criticized Trump’s response to the ongoing George Floyd protests. But on Thursday night, Trump took at aim at sitting Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.