UK & World News
'Forest Boy' Disappears: German Cops Stumped
A runaway dubbed 'Forest Boy' after claiming to be an amnesiac orphan who had lived in the woods for five years has disappeared.
Police were preparing to sue Robin Van Helsum for the 20,000 euros (£16,000), for accommodation, food, clothing and other expenses racked up while he maintained the lie.
But the 20-year-old has gone missing, with police admitting they have "no information" on his whereabouts.
He had initially arrived in the German capital last year, when he told officers he had been living in the forest on the Czech border until his father died.
Van Helsum said his name was Ray, that he was 17 years old and had lost his memory.
But the story quickly spread across the world, prompting a former girlfriend to identify him as coming from Hengelo, near the German-Dutch border.
His stepmother came forward and Van Helsum conceded he had invented the story and had simply run away.
He is thought to have gone missing again around three months ago.
A Berlin police spokesman told Sky News: "We have no information on him. We don't know where he is."
And his stepmother, Ellen Van Helsum, told Dutch newspaper AD: "One day after his unmasking Robin called me.
"He ... asked if he could go home come. 'Of course you're welcome', I replied. He sounded relieved and responded with the words: 'I'll call you tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.' Though I never heard anything, I assumed that one day he would turn up.
"There are rumours that he was spotted in Hengelo, but Robin is smart enough to know that he would get in trouble."