10-07-2011, 12:16 PM
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"Forrest Boy" Claimed by Grandparents
A Swiss couple have come forward to claim that the mysterious 'Forest Boy' Ray is their grandson.
Now the pair are due to give a DNA test which will be matched with Ray, who claimed last month in Berlin to have been living in a wood for five years.
Berlin's BZ newspaper reported on Friday that Ray's photo was seen by the couple in Switzerland and that they then contacted police.
There was no official comment from authorities in the German capital and no further details in the newspaper report.
Police and social workers began suspecting two weeks ago that his story was bogus and that his motives were suspect.
He is only 17 and now in the care of social workers after a legal guardian to represent his interests was appointed.
If it is found that he comes from Switzerland he will be deported back there.
The blonde, blue-eyed boy claimed to remember few details about his life and where he had been when he pitched up on the steps of a town hall in the east of Berlin on September 5.
He spun a tale - in accented English - that gripped the imagination of the world: that he had been living in a tent in a forest for five years with his father, called Ryan, and that his mother Doreen had perished in a car crash five years previously.
He said he began walking towards Berlin after his father died suddenly in the woods a fortnight before his arrival. He said he had buried him among the trees.
"I'm all alone, please help me," he bleated. He was taken into care at a cost to the German taxpayer of around £2,500 per month.
But the tall tale he wove began to appear to have more holes than a Swiss cheese.
A check of police computers in all 16 states of Germany showed up that no woman called Doreen had died in a car crash in Germany in the past decade.
No sign of a grave has been found in cursory searches of forests in the Harz Mountains, along the Bavarian-Czech border or in Thuringia.
He was unable to pinpoint the forest where he said he lived, he was also unable to say what nationality he was, although police soon suspected he was not British despite the words he spoke.
The tent he carried did not look like it had sustained five years of treatment in a German forest and he was well dressed and clean.
As Interpol was alerted to check with police forces for missing people in other European lands, Ray triggered more suspicion when he said he did not want to pose for photographs or make an appeal to try to find any of his family members.
"They're all dead," he said. "I just want to get on and make a new life for myself."
"Unfortunately it seems that the boy told his guardian that he wasn't interested in discovering who he was," said a police spokesman.
But now the Swiss link is the most promising development so far. If true, Germany would be in a position to make a claim from Switzerland for money towards his upkeep so far.