Perhaps Forest Boy would have gotten away with it 25 years ago, but the mysterious young man who said he lived in a forest in Germany for several years after the deaths of both of his parents couldn’t hide behind a fantastical tale forever in the internet era.
Forest Boy appeared suddenly in Berlin nine months ago, claiming to have been living for the past five years in the woods with his father after his mother died in a car accident. He reported that after his father too died, in August 2011, he went off in search of help and would up in Berlin.
Forest Boy’s tale seemed very shaky, and for good reason. It turns out the wilderness wanderer did not actually emerge after a half-decade of wood-dwelling to the modern metropolis of Berlin, and the stepmother of the “boy” has stepped forward to identify him as 20-year-old Robin van Helsum from the Dutch town Hengelo.
A spokeswoman for police told German press that authorities were very relieved that the mystery of Forest Boy had been solved, and said:
“We are 100 percent certain that he is this 20-year-old boy, because his stepmother positively identified him. We have made contact with his family and friends. A photo where you could see him with a chain round his neck showing his name provided the proof. We are very glad that he has been found.”
Forest Boy Van Helsum is now in the care of the state, and authorities are perplexed as to why he gamed police for so long. Forest Boy appears to be sound mentally, they say, and police are none too pleased he set them off searching on a false tale for nearly the last year- Berlin police spokesman Michael Maaß said:
“This is no joke anymore… He made right fools of us. The costs could come down to him.”
What will happen to Forest Boy following the hoax is not yet known.