Dutch police arrest 2nd suspect after discovering family waiting for ‘the end of time’ in basement


An aerial picture taken October 15, 2019, shows a view of the farm where a father and six children had been living in the cellar, In Ruinerwold, northern Netherlands. GETTY

(CBS News) – Just a few days after discovering a family of seven living in isolation in a farmhouse basement, police in the Netherlands have arrested a second suspect in connection with the case. In addition to arresting a 58-year-old man, Dutch police said Thursday that they have also detained a 67-year-old man, The Associated Press reports. 

The family of seven allegedly spent nine years in the basement and were only found after one family member escaped. Initial reports said they were waiting for “the end of time” — many of the children believed they were the only humans on Earth.

A judge ordered the 58-year-old man, who rented the farm, to be detained for 14 days on suspicion of involvement in “deprivation of liberty and harming the health of others.” The second suspect is being held on the same allegations.

Detectives are still investigating the relationship of the people found, but they are allegedly from the same family.

According to local news outlet RTV, the 58-year-old man was living with several siblings, aged 18 to 25, on a farm in the Drenthe province. The oldest of the siblings escaped from the basement on Sunday evening, asking staff at a pub in nearby Ruinerwold for help.

Mayor Roger de Groot said the man living with the children is not their father nor the owner of the farmhouse. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told local reporters. The family is in “a safe place” now, he said. 

According to Dutch media, the family had no contact with the outside world and was entirely self-sufficient, living off a vegetable garden and a few animals. The children were not registered and neighbors believed only one man lived alone on the farm. 

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