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Unconfirmed reports said the family had withdrawn from society, fearing the end of the world was approaching.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

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

White Victorians have role to play in combatting systems of oppression, prejudice

Shortage of foreign workers costs Saanich Peninsula berry farmer thousands

Gobind Farms says hiring local has been difficult during pandemic

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read