Experts analyse accent of mystery teenager

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The Independent Online

Linguistic experts are analysing the accent of the mysterious English-speaking teenager who claims to have spent the past five years in a German forest.

Police have released an image of the 17-year-old, known as Ray, who turned up at Berlin's city hall two weeks ago, claiming his father, Ryan, had died in a fall a fortnight earlier.

Speaking fluent English but only a few words of German, he said he had buried his father in a shallow grave in the woods. He said he and his father had lived rough, sleeping in tents and dug-outs, following the death of his mother, Doreen, in a car crash.

He remembered little of his previous life and had used a compass to guide him northwards to Berlin. German police say his story is "highly unusual", but credible.

Interpol is investigating whether Ray is listed as a missing child in another country. The teenager, who is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, is said to be in good physical shape.

A police spokesman said : "We don't know if he speaks in an English accent. He is not a native speaker, but perhaps he learnt English from his father."