A Dutch family of six who spent nine years living in a basement have been discovered by police in the Netherlands after one of them suddenly turned up at a local pub.
Five siblings aged between 18 and 25 along with their sick father have been rescued from a hidden basement in a Dutch farmhouse after the eldest son wandered into a local pub to seek help.
According to the local news station RTV Drenthe, the family “have been living in a basement for years, waiting for the end of time.”
The children and a bedridden man, initially believed to be their father, had lived concealed in the basement of the farmhouse for nine years, waiting for the “end of time,” according to Dutch media.
One Josef B., 58, a handyman who was previously the only known tenant of the house, was arrested at the scene for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The siblings lived in the basement of the house, which was only accessible through a hidden staircase behind a cupboard in the living room, and were reportedly unaware there were other people in the world.
The house itself was isolated by a canal, accessible by a single bridge, and secured by a locked gate. Neighbors who tried to investigate found that the property was dotted with surveillance cameras.
According to the eldest sibling, the children had never been to school, and they were not registered by any local authorities. The family was believed to be self-sufficient, with a vegetable plot and livestock to sustain them.
Their mother is thought to have died before the family moved to the farmhouse – “a long time ago,” according to the mayor – though some reports suggest she is buried on the property.
The only one seen off the property was Josef B., whom neighbors witnessed driving in and out of the farm daily. He would also watch with binoculars to ward off intruders, neighbors reported.
Police are still investigating how the family lived for so long in isolation and the exact nature of the relationship between Josef B. and the family. The siblings have been removed from the home.
News Punch / ABC Flash Point News 2019.