Dutch farm mystery: Man suspected of holding family against will

The farmhouse where the family was found

The farmhouse where the family was found

A Dutch family lived in a basement for about 9 years while waiting for end times, and police have now rescued them after a man made a daring escape, dashing to a neighborhood bar in the Netherlands for a beer, according to BBC.

On June 6 this year, he posted that he'd started a new job at Creconat, a local timber company owned by Josef B, the 58-year-old handyman who was living at the farm where the family was found. Josef B was arrested by police on Tuesday and will appear before a magistrate on Thursday.

RTV Drenthe said the young man ran away from the property and entered a pub in the village of Ruinerwold. Police said in a statement on Tuesday: "We found six people living in a small space in the house which could be locked but wasn't a basement".

The 58-year-old man who is not the father of the children was arrested at the site however his role in the incident is still unclear.

A general view of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters' reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands October 16, 2019.

The company is affiliated to another in the nearby town of Meppel and was raided by police on Monday, the paper said, adding it belonged to the 58-year-old Austrian man.

One neighbour told the Telegraaf newspaper that the man, who was seen daily driving an old Volvo vehicle, was "very sharp ..."

"I've never seen anything like it", said Groot. "We still have many unanswered questions".

The father was found in bed, as it appears he had a stroke years before. They were waiting for "the end of time," the news outlet reported.

Newspaper Algemeen Dagblad published speculation the group was living at the premises to await the end of time, but local mayor Roger de Groot said authorities now have as many questions as the public.

The whereabouts of the children's mother is also unclear, although Mayor de Groot indicated that she had died some time ago.

"We always thought that one man was living in the house who was renovating the place", one neighbor told the Guardian.

She would not confirm the relationship between the people or describe the conditions they were found in or their state of health for privacy reasons, apart from to say that they had been brought to a safe location. None of the family members was registered as a resident with the municipality, police said.

The local postman added he had never delivered a letter to the farm.

Upon investigation, police discovered a hidden staircase behind a cupboard leading to a cellar where the father and his children were hiding.

"It's actually pretty odd, now I come to think about it", he told the Dutch news outlet Algemeen Dagblad, according to the BBC.

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