The discovery of a retired family in the village of Ruinerwold in Drenthe is enigmatic. Local residents sometimes saw a car or a man who presumably lived there, but it was never clear who exactly lived and what happened on the farm. Even now that the family has been found by the police, many questions remain unanswered.
A father with a total of six children would have waited nine years in provisionally furnished rooms of the remote farm in Drenthe for the 'end of time'. The police found the family after the eldest son escaped and raised the alarm, RTV Drenthe said .
Talking to each other, locals stand on a bridge in the outskirts of Ruinerwold on Tuesday afternoon, watching the farm they are talking about. They ask each other what they know about the family that was found by the police on Monday in a residential farm on the outskirts of the village.
Virtually nothing, is the summary answer. A few have ever spoken to the likely father of the family and a car sometimes drove from the yard, but otherwise it is still completely unclear what happened in the house for nine years.
"I used to use the land next to the farm," says 74-year-old Gerard Slomp, born and raised in the 4,000-person Ruinerwold. "But those people didn't live there yet, so I don't know them."
"I often cycled past it and thought: you will never hear from those people," says Slomp. "I have always had the feeling that something was not right."
53Drone films a Drenthe farm in which the family has been in the cellar for years
Farm was in disrepair nine years ago
When the family came to live there nine years ago, the farm, only accessible via one bridge, was in a derelict state. "We sometimes jokingly said that the trees grew in the house. It was really uninhabitable. But I thought they had fixed it up well. From a distance it looks good, although there were blankets on the roof last winter."
The farm seems to be reasonably well maintained at a hundred meters away. Although it is difficult to really make a good judgment about it, since it is clear that the residents were not waiting for a potter.
Carelessly maintained shrubs and a wooden wall obstruct a large part of the view. A row of trees also conceals what takes place in the farmyard. Drone images show a messy garden, where vegetables were probably grown. The land around the farm was never worked, according to Slomp.
According to him, the residents had "no contact with anyone". Shortly after they went to live in the farm, members of the neighborhood association did visit the farm. "They asked if the new residents wanted to become members, but they were not interested in it and they did not have to come again."
A large part of the farm is not visible through trees and shrubs (Photo: Pro Shots)
"Light never burned"
Freek (who only wants to respond without a surname) from the nearby village of Berghuizen also has that experience. "I have spoken to the man who lived there once. They were just then living there. I wanted to cross the bridge, but I was not allowed to pass it."
Eighteen-year-old Celly regularly cycled past the farm when she went to school or to friends in the area. "I sometimes saw a car come from, but the farm never burned light."
Police take all scenarios into account
Much more than that is not known about the family. Roger de Groot, mayor of De Wolden, the municipality to which Ruinerwold belongs, leaves many questions unanswered. For example, it is unclear how it is possible that part of the family was registered with the civil register and was required to attend school, but that a compulsory education officer never sounded the alarm. Several family members have been minors at the time they were leading a reclusive life.
Nor can he say who the 58-year-old man is who was arrested. In any case, it is not the father of the family.
The coming period will undoubtedly become more known about what happened on the farm in the Drenthe village for years. The police are still investigating this. "All scenarios are taken into account," said Mayor De Groot.
See also: Family from Ruinerwold could stay on radar for nine years despite compulsory education
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