The West

The so-called “forest boy” who turned up last year in Berlin claiming to have spent five years living rough in the German countryside has been exposed as a hoaxer, German and Dutch police say.

He claimed to be a 17-year-old teenager named Ray whose mother died when he was 12. He said he lived with his father in caves or in a tent until his father’s death.

He told police he had forgotten his surname and original home.

But residents of Hengelo, in the Netherlands, identified him from photos as a 20-year-old man, Robin, who left town just three days before showing up in Berlin in the guise of tousle-haired lost youth last September.

Police investigating the case published his photo worldwide on Tuesday. His Dutch stepmother recognised him from the photo.

“Ray has admitted that he is Robin,” a Berlin police spokeswoman told DPA yesterday.

“The story he told isn’t true.”

She added that it was possible he would be penalised for obtaining youth-welfare payments in Berlin when he had, in fact, been an adult.

The West Australian

Latest News From The West

Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for public servants to watch their colleagues on the corporate speaking circuit because everything they need to know to do their job is available free …

Fire chiefs are bracing for a repeat of last summer’s disastrous bushfire season amid forecasts that conditions will be just as dangerous.

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West