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Remember the Story About the German 'Forest Boy'? Turns Out It Was a Hoax


"...he deliberately took us for fools..."

"Ray," now identified as "Robin" turned up last September in Berlin after claiming he knew little of his identity and had been living in the woods for five years. (Photo: Berline Police)

BERLIN (The Blaze/AP) -- Almost a year ago now, a mystery teenager turned up in Berlin telling authorities all his family were dead, his name was Ray and, other than that, he had no clues as to his identity. Just this week, the German police issued a photo of Ray and the mystery was quickly solved.

It was a hoax.

Berlin police say an English-speaking teenage boy who wandered into the city nine months ago saying that he had been living in the forest for the last five years has been spinning a tale.

After publishing his picture earlier this week, police said Friday a former girlfriend identified him as a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who was reported missing last September.

When confronted with the details, police say the boy confirmed the story.

An official, speaking on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to release personal details, said the boy's real name is "Robin" but wouldn't give his last name.

The 20-year-old man, according to CNN, was recognized by a female acquaintance after his picture was released Wednesday. Watch CNN's report from earlier this week when the photo was released in the "bizarre" story:

Prior to this revelation, "Ray" had only provided few details of his life, saying he was born in 1994 and his mother, Doreen, died in a car accident 12 years ago. He says his father Ryan died last August and he buried him in the woods where they'd been living, then wandered into Berlin and turned up at city hall.

It wasn't immediately clear what will happen now, but police say they are checking into whether he could be charged with fraud.

"It's no longer a joke," police spokesman Michael Maass told "Die Welt," according to Spiegel Online. If the story was in fact falsified, Maass said, "then he deliberately took us for fools, and he could be liable for the costs."

The Daily Telegraph reports the boy's stepmother was located -- still not revealing the family's last name -- and authorities said she was able to identify him "100 percent." It also reports those who knew him saying he had "personal problems" and his stepmother noted when he left he was 19 and could "do what he wanted."

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