More Details Emerge in Dutch Farmhouse Mystery

Father charged with 'deprivation of liberty'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2019 5:02 AM CDT
Updated Oct 18, 2019 6:44 AM CDT
Father Arrested in Dutch Farmhouse Mystery
The small group of buildings after a family group were discovered to be living in secluded conditions in Ruinerwold, 80 miles northeast of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday Oct. 15, 2019.   (RTL Netherlands via AP)

A second suspect has been arrested in the baffling case of a family kept in a farmhouse in the Netherlands for nine years—and he's part of the family. The 67-year-old father was arrested Thursday and faces charges of deprivation of liberty, abuse, and money laundering, Deutsche Welle reports. Police now say six, not five, young adults aged between 18 and 25 lived in the farmhouse, and they believe the siblings "did not stay at the premises out of free will." A 58-year-old Austrian man identified as Josef B. was arrested Monday after the oldest sibling went to a local bar and said he needed help. Police say the family was found in a set of rooms accessed through a hidden entrance.

"We are investigating whether following a certain belief in life or faith has led to the living situation in which the people were found," police said in a statement, per AFP. "The situation encountered requires a careful approach whereby attention and care is given to the young adults found." Dutch authorities say none of the siblings appear in the national database, CNN reports. According to Dutch media, the family members and the Austrian man were all members of South Korea's Unification Church, better known as the "Moonies." A spokesman for the group says the father was a member in the 1980s before apparently starting his own group, though Josef. B was apparently never a member. The Austrian's brother, however, said he joined some kind of "sect" while serving in the military. (More Netherlands stories.)

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