Berlin police released a statement saying that they have identified the boy, who claimed to be named Ray. The police didn’t reveal his true identity, but a broadcaster in the Netherlands quoted sources close to the matter as saying that he is 20-year-old Dutch man Robin van Helsum.
Police reportedly confronted van Helsum with their evidence and he conceded that his story about surviving in the woods with his father, and burying him after he died, was untrue.
Originally residing in Hengelo, a city in the Netherlands near the border with Germany, van Helsum was reported missing last fall. He left a note saying goodbye and then disappeared. Though he had been reported missing, police didn’t investigate further because he was an adult and was free to leave his family if he wanted to.
Police say that they will pursue the possibility of charging van Helsum with fraud. He has received numerous gifts and donations since news of his supposed life in the woods first broke.