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article image'Forest Boy' missing after being exposed as a fraud

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By Leigh Goessl     Sep 20, 2012 in World
Berlin - The now notorious "Forest Boy" has reportedly gone missing after being exposed as a fraud. The male, who had identified himself as 17-year-old "Ray", has seemingly disappeared once the world learned he was really 20-year-old Robin van Helsum.
According to the Telegraph, Robin van Helsum has vanished again, shortly after the world learned he had scammed German agencies.
Reportedly, after his exposure, he'd called his stepmother and asked if he could come back to the family home to the Netherlands. The Telegraph reported his mother, Ellen, told a Dutch newspaper:
"A day after his unmasking he phoned me and asked if he could come home because he needed to rest. Of course I said yes, you're welcome. He responded with the words: 'I'll call you tomorrow or the day after.' But I have heard nothing more."
That was over three months ago. Reportedly, German officials have acknowledged they have no idea where he is, but it is believed van Helsum is still in Berlin.
Earlier this year, Digital Journal reported on the story of "Forest Boy" as news circulated on the web after German authorities sought help in finding the identity of a man who had showed up in Berlin in Sept. 2011.
The "boy" told German officials he was an orphan who had been living in the forest for the previous five years with his father, who had recently passed away. He claimed to have no memory of his pre-forest life. Officials helped "Ray", including giving him housing, schooling, clothing and taking care of other expenses.
After several months of no luck figuring out van Helsum's identify, German officials circulated his photo which was passed around the web. "Ray" was quickly identified by some friends as Robin van Helsum, a 20-year-old man who had gone missing from the Netherlands just days before he'd shown up in Berlin. It was at this time, van Helsum admitted to authorities he made the whole story up.
German authorities were angry they'd been "had" and had been planning to sue van Helsum for the expenses incurred while he was living under German aid and the costs of searches conducted to find his family. German social services representatives complained that van Helsum didn't even apologize or thank them for the assistance they'd given him.
According to the Daily Mail, it is believed after his exposure, van Helsum may have "taken up" with a community of traveling fruit pickers that travel throughout the region during the summer months.
Where he is now, however, is anyone's guess.
"We have no information on him. We don't know where he is," a Berlin police spokesman told Sky News.
Now that fruit picking season has passed and cooler weather is setting in, perhaps van Helsum will resurface once again.
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More about forest boy, Robin Van Helsum, Germany, Berlin, Fraud
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