German Police Release Photo of 'Forest Boy' Who Wandered From Woods
Police in Germany have now released a photo of Ray, an English-speaking boy who wandered into central Berlin nearly a year ago claiming he had been living in the woods outside of the capital.
Ray claimed to have no idea who he was when he wondered into Berlin, and said that he had been living in the woods for five years. Now, after almost a year later, he's sticking to his story, confounding German police.
"The whole thing is still a mystery," Thomas Neuendorf of the Berlin police told the thelocal.de. "We have conducted all the investigations we know how, We have compared his DNA with international missing persons lists, we've made public appeals, we've sent his fingerprints around the world to see if he was involved in anything picked up by authorities anywhere but have come up with nothing."
The youth originally spoke just English, but in a way that authorities said suggested it was not his mother tongue. Specialists were unable to determine where he was from.
"Certain aspects of his DNA indicate he most likely comes from Europe," said Neuendorf.
The boy, who says he was born in 1994, is estimated to be between sixteen and twenty years old with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. Ray claims that his mother Doreen was killed in a car accident when he was twelve, and that has father Ryan had taken him to live in the woods for five years where the two sheltered in tents or hunting sheds.
He says his father was killed when he fell over last August, and his final instructions to his son were to walk north until you find civilization, and seek help.
And walk he did - for five days he claims - arriving in Central Berlin with nothing but a two-man tent and a sleeping bag in a backpack. He was wearing a gold chain around his neck with a pendant in the shape of the letter D, a tribute to his mother.
A search for the father's body has turned up no results, leading to further skepticism about Ray's story.
"There were things that did not fit with his story. He was relatively clean and the tent he had with him did not look like it had been used for five years. It was also simply unimaginable that someone could live near Berlin for such a long time without being seen," Neuendorf told the local.
Yet the mystery endures, and the boy is apparently less than forthcoming when discussing his past.
"Whenever we want to go into details with him, he breaks it off, saying both of his parents are dead, and that no one else knows him. He seems to have an astounding lack of interest in finding out who he is," Neuendorf said.
Ray is currently living in a youth housing project and in good health, but he cannot live there forever and his future is ambiguous at best.
Ultimately, the resolution of Ray's story may not come with the discovery of a past identity, but with the creation of a new one.
"At some time he will have to be given a family name, a nationality and an official date of birth - that is the law in this country," said Neuendorf.