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Unconfirmed reports said the family had withdrawn from society, fearing the end of the world was approaching.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

Honk if you’re in Harrison

Despite COVID-19 restrictions in place, flights flagrantly disregard the rules and are… Continue reading

Shades of gray in Teacup debate

Laurens Van Vliet of Agassiz has mixed thoughts about the exclusion application

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19-appropriate Easter hunt to hop into Agassiz

Local bear hunt organizer creates Easter version

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read