The second suspect arrested last week by Dutch authorities for his alleged role in the forced captivity of six young adults in an isolated farmhouse has been identified as the siblings’ father.
Drenthe Police confirm in a statement the 67-year-old man who was the second suspect charged in the bizarre case “would be the father” and notes “the other five people and the reporter would be his children.”
The father, who has not been publicly named, was arrested Thursday, “suspected of being a co-perpetrator of unlawful deprivation of liberty and of abuse, in the sense of prejudicing the health of others and money laundering,” the Drenthe Police statement explains.
Authorities, using canines to search the farmhouse property for human remains, allegedly recovered a considerable amount of cash from the farmhouse in Ruinerwold in the Netherlands.
“We are dealing with an exceptional situation,” reads the statement. “These people may have lived in the home since 2010, with each other and apart from society. The situation encountered requires a careful approach whereby attention and care is given to the young adults found. Various experts are involved. Care has been arranged in a safe place for the six people involved.”
The six siblings — aged 18 to 25 — were discovered in the farmhouse’s basement more than a week ago, after the eldest opened up to a pub owner about his alleged living conditions.
The 25-year-old man who told investigators he’d been held captive at the farmhouse for nine years said he escaped to a bar.
The Ruinerwold pub’s owner, Chris Westerbeek, told Dutch media the man had been there three times before.
It was on his fourth visit to the establishment that the disheveled man with the overgrown hair and beard opened up to the pub’s owner about his living situation: According to the allegations, the man had been held with his five younger siblings and their bed-ridden father by a 58-year-old man from Austria.
RTV Drenthe spoke to the bar’s owner, who said the first time the 25-year-old visited the bars was 10 days before he finally told Westerbeek he’d been held captive.
“I had a chat with him” during that fourth visit “and he revealed he had run away and needed help … then we called the police,” Westerbeek said, according to the outlet. “He had long hair, a dirty beard, wore old clothes and looked confused. He said he’d never been to school and hadn’t been to the barber for nine years.”
“He said he had brothers and sisters who lived at the farm,” Westerbeek said. “He said he was the oldest and wanted to end the way they were living.”
Statements released by the Drenthe Police indicate the siblings and their father were found “in a small room” in the farmhouse, and “it is unclear whether they stayed there voluntarily. These people may have been staying on the site since 2010.”
The 58-year-old man who was renting the property remains in custody after being detained on suspicion of unlawful deprivation of liberty, the statements read.
Authorities have not named him either.
On Thursday, the 58-year-old suspect appeared in court in North Holland and was ordered held for 14 days as the investigation proceeds.
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Despite earlier reports, it remains unclear if the family believed the end of the world was nearing and were awaiting the apocalypse.
According to De Telegraaf, the sibling who reported the conditions has a social media profile listing him as an employee for Creconat, a business raided by police last week, allegedly owned by the 58-year-old man now in custody.
Only the father faces a money laundering charge.