Bavaria police discover 43-year-old isolated for decades in his parents′ house | News | DW | 04.10.2016
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Bavaria police discover 43-year-old isolated for decades in his parents' house

Police in Bayreuth removed the man from his parents' home, and are now investigating whether or not he had lived there by choice for decades with little or no contact to the outside world. Clues are scarce.

Bavarian police are investigating a curious case of a 43-year-old who seems to have hardly ever left his parents' home in the city of Bayreuth.

"We do not know exactly since when the man lived there without regular contact with the outside world, nor do we know what the situation really looked like - for example, whether or not he had the opportunity to leave the premises," police spokesman Jürgen Stadter told journalists. The man could have lived secluded in the house for 20 or 30 years, Stadter said.

The 43-year-old looked scruffy, but was not suffering from malnutrition, police said, adding that they had put an investigation in motion against the parents on suspicion of illegal detention and causing bodily harm due to neglect. However, Stadter stressed that it was not yet clear whether charges would ever be pressed against the parents. 

According to the daily "Nordbayerischer Kurier," police received a tip-off and took the man away from his parents' home on September 21. He was brought to the local hospital. However, police refused to speak of a "rescue."

"Maybe the man himself wanted it that way," spokesman Stadter said.

Under Germany's relatively strict laws protecting the identities of victims and suspected perpetrators, police did not reveal the 43-year-old's identity. The only documentation they could offer was roughly 30 years old, details of him attending a primary school and then a comprehensive "Gesamtschule" high school. Paperwork dating back to when he was a 13-year-old boy showed that the school had deemed he was no longer fit to attend classes there, Stadter said. 

Speaking to the "Nordbayerischer Kurier," the man's mother said there could be no talk of rescuing her son. "He didn't want to go out anymore." She said that nobody shut him up inside the house and that she and her husband only wanted to protect him. The woman also said her son was registered at the local residents' office.

mg/msh (dpa)

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