The story of a German boy named Ray who allegedly lived in the woods for five years before coming into civilization and making international headlines yesterday has taken a new twist, and the truth has been exposed. Ray is, in reality, a 20-year-old Danish man who hoped to escape his past life.
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Photographs released by German police helped Ray's family identify him after being away for so long.
"We have spoken to his family and his friends, and we have seen a photo where he has a chain with his name on which confirms who he is," a source in the police department told the Daily Mail.
"Ray" is actually the alias used by Danish citizen Robin van Helsum, who told authorities that he had been in the forests surrounding Berlin for five years and had happened to wander into city hall. Police were initially suspicious when a physical examination revealed that Ray had no ailments and showed no signs of being in the wild for so long.
He refused to let authorities release his photo, which delayed his being identified by his family. In the meantime, though, Ray began attending school and began to thrive in the community. Now family and friends are wondering what specifically led to the plan hatched by van Helsum.
"I am certain that is Robin," a school friend told Dutch news agencies. "He had personal problems, and that was his way of beginning a new life." However, that plan could end up costing van Helsum a great deal if, in fact, it is false.
"It was a really frustrating case and took up a lot of time," police spokesman Michael Maass told Die Welt. "That will have to be paid for and that will eventually end up at his door. It's no longer a joke. If the story is made up, then he deliberately took us for fools, and he could be liable for the costs."