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'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say

He wasn't really a "forest boy," police say.
Berlin police
He wasn't really a "forest boy," police say.

We won't pretend to be surprised:

"The forest boy known previously as 'Ray' has been identified as Robin van Helsum. from the Dutch town of Hengelo, Dutch police confirmed Friday morning." (Germany's The Local)

It took only about two days from the time that police in Berlin released a photo of "Ray" for him to be identified by friends.

It turns out he's not a 17-year-old boy who was living in the woods with his father until dad died — the story he told police. He's a 20-year-old Dutch man with personal problems.

As we said Thursday, the tale of "forest boy" had captivated many Germans.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.