Gerrit Jan van D., a 67-year-old man found living in complete isolation with six of his nine children on a farm in Ruinerwold last year, sexually abused two of his oldest children when he thought they were possessed by the spirit of their mother or another woman, the Public Prosecutor revealed in court during the first proforma hearing of this case on Tuesday.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
DNA tests confirmed that 67-year-old Gerrit Jan van D. is the father of the children found living with him in a hidden space on a farm in Ruinerwold in October. The man is also suspected of sexually abusing two of his three oldest children, who had already left home when the family withdrew from the society nine years ago, the Public Prosecutor said on Thursday.
Online friends of Gerrit Jan van D. are shocked by the accusations that he kept his children trapped on a farm in Ruinerwold for nine years. They describe him as a nice man who was "good to his children" to newspaper AD. The Telegraaf found - now deleted - posts on Facebook and LinkedIn that indicate that son Jan visited Canada in 2015 and earlier this year, indicating that he maybe was not being held captive, according to the newspaper.
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.
Gerrit Jan van D., a man found living with six of his children in a hidden space on a farm in Ruinerwold last week, recorded a series of religious videos in 2006. In these videos he speaks of a spiritual war that is not quite over, but that god declared to be 'won'. The Telegraaf discovered these videos and posted excerpts on its site.
In the past a school attendance officer from the municipality of Zwartewaterland investigated the family found living in complete isolation on a farm in Ruinerwold earlier this week. The truancy officer saw no reason to intervene at the time and concluded that te situation was "in order", mayor Eddy Bilder of Zwartwaterland said on Friday, De Stentor reports.
The family of Gerrit Jan van D., the father who was found living in a hidden room on a farm in Ruinerwold with six of his children, is dismayed by the events surrounding Van D., they said in a statement to RTL Nieuws. They haven't had contact with Van D. since the 1980s and had no idea what he was up to. "The father of G.J. is demented and stays in a closed institution."
On Thursday the police arrested a second suspect in the investigation into the family found living in a hidden room on a farm in Ruinerwold. The suspect is the father of the family, 67-year-old Gert Jan van D. He is suspected of depriving his six children of their physical freedom, and assault by harming the health of others, the Drenthe police announced.
Josef B. was remanded into custody by a magistrate on Thursday for at least another 14 days while an investigation continues into the family found living in a hidden room on his farm. The man is suspected of depriving a man and his six now-adult children of their physical freedom for nearly a decade, and causing harm to their health, according to the prosecutor's office in Noord-Nederland.
The older brother of 58-year-old Austrian man Josef B. is not surprised that his brother was arrested on suspicion of depriving a family of their freedom for nine years on a farm in Ruinerwold, he said to newspaper AD. "Josef has a very strong persuasiveness", brother Franz said to the newspaper.
The tenant of a farm where a family was found concealed is suspected of depriving people of their physical freedom, and harming the health of others, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said on Wednesday. The suspect is reportedly 58-year-old Austrian man Josef B., according to multiple published reports.
"I have never experienced anything like this", mayor Roger de Groot of municipality De Wolden said about a family found in a farm in Ruinerwold. The family, a father and six children, lived a "withdrawn existence" in "secluded provisional spaces" in the farm for nine years, the mayor said in a press conference, NOS reports