Father of trapped family remanded into custody, hospitalized

Gerrit Jan van D.
Gerrit Jan van D., the father of six children kept hidden on a farm in Ruinerwold. April 15, 2013 Photo: Gerrit jan van d. / Facebook

The 67-year-old father of six adult children kept concealed on a remote farm was ordered back into custody as the investigation into the case continues. The magistrate presiding over the case sent Gerritt Jan van D. back to jail for a 14-day period, which may be further extended at the court's discretion, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

He was being held at a prison hospital facility in Scheveningen, according to NOS. A spokesperson for the court told the broadcaster that it was due to an unspecified medical condition. It had been rumored that the suspect had a stroke three years ago which resulted in paralysis.

Van D., a doomsday religious believer who released his own gospel, is not allowed contact with anyone except his legal counsel. He is being investigated for depriving his children of their physical freedom, acting in a manner detrimental towards their health, and money laundering.

The suspect was arrested last Thursday, several days after the family members were discovered. Police also arrested Josef B., a 58-year-old Austrian man on similar charges. B. was the main tenant of the farm in Ruinerwold, Drenthe, where the family resided.

B. was remanded into custody for two weeks in a hearing on Thursday.

The Ruinerwold farm secret was uncovered after the 25-year-old son of Van D., Jan, snuck off the farm and had a series of unusual conversations with local residents. Jan was being cared for by social services at a separate facility from his siblings.