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Was “ghost family” held against their will in Ruinerwold?

The 58-year-old tenant Joseph B. of the farm in Ruinerwold, where a father and his six children stayed in a shelter, is suspected of deprivation of liberty and harm to the health of others. Presumably, the family was held there against their will. A search of the house shows that the suspect rented a toy shop together with the father of the family.

58-year-old Joseph B. will be brought before the investigating judge tomorrow. He is currently suspected of deprivation of liberty and prejudice to the health of others.

Search in a toy shop

Furthermore, the Dutch police announced that searches are underway in the Stationsweg and Kerkstraat in Zwartsluis, a neighbouring village of Ruinerwold. One of the places searched for is a former toy shop that ran the family for years. Based on an excerpt from the Chamber of Commerce, Het Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the alleged father started a toy shop called Natural Homes on 1 June 2004. The doors of the shop closed reasonably quickly, but the rent was reportedly paid as usual, although nothing ever came in its place. The property has now been neglected and is for sale.

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None of the family members was registered with the municipality’s basic administration. Yesterday, there were still a number of registrations. They were all examined by a doctor in the meantime, but for reasons of privacy, nothing has been published about their state of health.

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The ball started rolling yesterday when a 25-year-old man in a confused state showed up in a pub. The police were called in by the landlord, who found the family at their home address. The police searched the abandoned-looking and wooded farm and discovered an enclosed space behind a cupboard. “It is unclear whether they stayed there voluntarily,” the police reacted only yesterday.

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