BERLIN (AP) — Berlin police are investigating the story of an English-speaking teenager who appeared in the German capital last week saying he had lived the previous five years in the woods with his father, a spokesman said Friday.
Michael Maass said the approximately 17-year-old boy appeared Sept. 5 at Berlin's city hall and was then taken in by a youth emergency center.
The boy told authorities that after his mother had died in a car accident about five years ago, his father had taken him to live in the forest, Maass said. The two lived in a tent, and in earthen dugouts according to his story.
"He said that he had lived for the last five years wandering around with his father," Maass said. "We don't know where."
The boy — who says he doesn't remember where the family came from — claims he followed his compass north after his father recently died following a fall in the woods, hitting Berlin after walking two weeks, Maass said.
The boy told authorities he only remembered the name his father called him by — Ray, according to media reports — and not his last name, Maass said. He speaks fluent English and only a few words of German, Maass said. He did not have any information about what accent the boy has.
The boy appears to be in good health and police have issued a Europe-wide appeal to try and determine his identity. However, police said they were not immediately releasing any photos of the boy.
"The missing persons bureau is investigating," Maass said, noting that at the moment, they only had the boy's story to go on.