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Police Release Photograph Of 'Forest Boy'
German police have released a photograph of the mysterious English-speaking teenager dubbed the "forest boy" who claims he has been living wild for half a decade.
The boy who calls himself Ray turned to authorities nine months ago saying he had lived in a wood in Germany for five years and did not know who he was.
Police in the German capital Berlin have sent a picture of the smiling, blond, blue-eyed boy wearing a green t-shirt and a gold necklace to news outlets in a bid to get to the bottom of the puzzling case which has made global news headlines.
They hope the image, taken in September, will prompt someone to come forward with information that will shed a light on the youth's past.
"Despite the extensive studies and investigations, the youth office and the Berlin Police were still not successful in identifying the boy who calls himself Ray," said a police statement, published in German and English.
"Who knows the person shown in this picture? Who can give any information about his identity? Who can give any information about the person's possible relatives?"
Police think he may be between 16 and 20 years old. He has three scars on his forehead, the same number on his chin too and one on his right arm.
The teenager first sought help on September 5, 2011, when he turned up at Berlin's city hall speaking English and just a few words of German.
He claimed to remember few details about his life and was unable to pinpoint the forest where he said he had lived.
He had with him a tent, a sleeping bag, a new-looking backpack, clean clothes, and could read and write.
"He claimed he only knew his date of birth and his first name. He was sent to youth emergency services," police said. "There, he told an adventurous story."
The boy was unable, or refused to give his family name, birthplace or any other biographical information but said he had spent the last five years living in a forest with his father Ryan until he died suddenly in August.
Ray told police he had buried his father "in a hole in the forest underneath some stones" but, after "walking north for five days" to Berlin, could not explain how he had died or where authorities could find his body.
"A corresponding dead body has still not been found," police said.
Ray said his mother Doreen had died in a car accident when he was 12, which he also could not recall, but he assumed the scars on his face were incurred in the crash.
The chain pictured around his neck has a pendant with the letter 'D', which Ray said was for his mother.
"They're all dead," he said. "I just want to get on and make a new life for myself."
After a brief stint with Berlin's emergency youth services, Ray was placed in an institution for assisted living and assigned a legal guardian.
Police and social workers suspect Ray's story is bogus and that his motives are suspect.
A police check in all 16 states of Germany showed that no woman called Doreen had died in a car crash in the past decade.
"The youth office and the Berlin police have great doubts about the boy's story," said the police statement.
"That is the reason why the youth office now decided to publish a photo of Ray and ask for your help."
In October, a Swiss couple reportedly claimed he was their grandson.