Family Discovered After Nine Years Spent Hidden In Secret Dutch Farmhouse

Dutch family discovered in farm basement after sibling escapes to seek help

A 58-year-old man described in Dutch media as a "handyman" was arrested on the property for refusing to cooperate with police, who said they do not know the man's relationship to the family at this time.

The six, aged 16 to 25, lived with a 58-year-old man in Ruinerwold, a village of less than 3,000 people in the northern province of Drenthe, and had no contact with the outside world for nearly a decade, RTV Drenthe reported.

Authorities arrested the 58-year-old man, who isn't believed to be the father of the young adults, but does rent the farm from the land owner, Ruinerwold Mayor Roger de Groot told the Dutch News.

Police investigating the farm found "a number of improvised rooms where a family lived a withdrawn life", De Groot said in a statement.

Dutch police were holding an Austrian man after the discovery of a father and his adult children who were believed to have stayed hidden in a remote farmhouse for years, officials said Wednesday. Police have said they are as yet unsure whether the children were there voluntarily but reported that they were apparently "waiting for the end of time".

RTV Drenthe reports the family appears to have had little contact with the outside world in recent years, and may have subsisted on vegetables and livestock grown in a small yard adjacent the farmhouse.

Neighbors had thought that the man lived there alone and had never seen anybody else. "The police are investigating all possible scenarios", de Groot said. "We still have a lot of unanswered questions", Hartstra said.

RTV reported that the recovered siblings were unaware there were any other people living in the world. "He said he was the oldest and wanted to end the way they were living", Westerbeek said. On a separate property in the same region, police found a family that had been holed up there for nine years.

Journalist Mark Mensik shared a photo from the scene that captured the isolation of the farmhouse in question and wrote on Twitter, "Apparently a family was hiding here, waiting for the end of time".

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.

The siblings and their father, who was reportedly bedridden after a stroke, have since been collected and are receiving treatment at an undisclosed location, the mayor said.

Another neighbour said they sensed that something was wrong inside the home surrounded by security cameras and guarded by a large fence, but didn't know what it was.

The village's postman said he had never posted a letter there, BBC News reported.

He told Algemeen Dagblad news website: "It's actually pretty unusual, now I come to think about it". "Then we called the police", he said, according to DutchNews.nl.

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