Interpol investigate British boy who lived in German forest

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The Independent Online

Interpol, the world's largest police organisation, is investigating whether a teenager who emerged in Berlin saying he had been living in the woods for five years is listed as a missing British child.

The 17-year-old, called Ray, appeared at Berlin's city hall on September 5 and was taken in by a youth emergency centre after explaining that his father had died two weeks earlier and he had buried him in the woods.

The boy, who says he does not remember where his family came from, said he followed his compass north to reach the city.

Today, police chiefs said they had approached Interpol to see if the boy matches any missing person reports.

Officers will not know the results of the inquiry until Monday.

Claudia Elitok, of Berlin Police, said: "He speaks fluent English and a few words in German.

"He remembers his name but we are not releasing it.

"He explained that the last five years were spent in the woods with his father, then his father died and he buried him.

"He was walking for two weeks before getting to Berlin.

"He has said what happened to his mother but I can't go into that information.

"He was found in good condition and is being taken care of by officials."

Detectives are going over everything Ray has told them to establish a picture of his background and biography.

It is not known if he will accompany police to the spot where he left his father and began his journey to the capital.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are aware of these reports and we are looking into them."

It is thought consular staff could begin liaising with the authorities in Berlin on Monday if the teenager proves to be British.

Ray's story is reminiscent of that of the Piano Man, German Andreas Grassl, who was found wandering the streets of Sheerness, Kent, in 2005.

Despite Europe-wide appeals, no-one knew who the 20-year-old was.

For months he remained uncommunicative except for showing his accomplished pianist skills.