Blerick doomsday couple disappears; 4 children taken in by youth care

Apocalyptic scenario

A 41-year-old woman from Nijkerk and her 39-year-old husband disappeared from their home in Blerick in Limburg last week Monday. Their four children, aged 17, 15, 12 and 9, were taken in by the Child Protection Board. Missing couple Andrea and Marcel suffer from a serious form of religious insanity and have been preparing for the "end of the world" for some time", Marcel's sister said to De Limburger.

The police and Andrea's sister confirmed the disappearance, according to the newspaper. 

"Last year Marcel had heart surgery and a near death experience. According to him, it was a miracle that he came back to life and since that time he only speaks about God and says that he himself is Jesus", the man's sister said to the newspaper. The couple had been getting ready for months, preparing their children for "life in the forest" and not giving them enough to eat, according to Marcel's sister. "He said they would go to God together."

Marcel wanted to leave with his family in April, but his family managed to put a stop to it, his sister said. On Monday last week, there were again signs of their impending departure and the Child Protection Board stepped in. The children were placed out of the house and accommodated in a safe and undisclosed location. From that moment, there's been no contact with the couple. On Thursday the police visited the home and found it abandoned, according to Marcel's sister.

Marcel has his own website on which he discusses his religious ideas. Based on this website, the family thinks they may have gone to Bavaria. Marcel's sister could not say for certain whether they had gotten involved in a cult, "but we do have our suspicions".