A Dutch family who had no contact with the outside world was reportedly holed up in a basement on a remote farm while they “waited for the end of time,” according to reports.
The family’s circumstances came to light when a 25-year-old, who had been living in the basement in Ruinerwold, a village with a population of less than 3,000, was able to make it to a bar in a neighboring town. The bar’s owner, Chris Westerbeek, said it was then that the man began talking to him about his living circumstances, local news outlet RTV reported.
"He ordered five beers and drank them. Then I had a chat with him and he revealed he had run away and needed help ... then we called the police," Westerbeek told the outlet. "He said he had brothers and sisters who lived at the farm. He said he was the oldest and wanted to end the way they were living."
The man also reportedly told the bar owner that he hadn’t been outside for nine years. He said his family had been living off farm animals and a small vegetable plot. Westerbeek said the man had long hair and his beard was dirty.
Six adult siblings, ranging from ages 18-25, were reportedly living in the home. Police raided the home and found a secret staircase that led to a basement.
They arrested a 58-year-old man, but it’s not clear how he is related to the group of siblings who were allegedly trapped in the home. The man who was arrested had suffered a stroke and was bedridden, according to local outlets.
Mayor Roger de Groot said the man was not the father of the kids and did not own the farm, per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"I understand there are a lot of questions," de Groot said. "We have many too. The police are investigating all possible scenarios."