Dutch family living in isolation discovered by police after nine years

A family living in isolation on a farm in the Netherlands have been discovered by police after nine years.

The seven adults are receiving medical treatment after police acted on a tip-off and found them locked away in a secret room on the premises, officials said on Tuesday.

Mayor Roger de Groot said six young adults, aged 18 to 25, and their ailing father were found near Ruinerwold - 130km (80 miles) northeast of Amsterdam.

They had apparently not been in contact with the outside world for nine years.

According to local news reports, the family had been waiting for the "end of time".

Mr de Groot said a 58-year-old man, who is not the father of the children, was arrested at the farm. His role was unclear.

The mayor added: "As far as I know their mother died before they arrived there.

"Police found makeshift living quarters where the family was living in hiding."

The family had reportedly lived in a hidden cellar and survived on vegetables and animals tended in a secluded garden, TV RTV Drenthe reported.

Other local news reports said the family were discovered after one of the siblings escaped and sought help at a nearby cafe.

An employee at the cafe told RTV Drenthe that a 25-year-old man had come in looking scruffy and bewildered with long hair - and said he had not been outside for nine years.

"You could see he had no idea where he was or what he was doing," the cafe owner, Chris Westerbeek, told the broadcaster.

"He said he had run away and that he urgently needed help."

The siblings and their father, who was reportedly bedridden after a stroke, were being treated at an undisclosed location, the mayor said.

Drone images of the farm showed a cluster of buildings with a large vegetable garden on one side.

The small property also appeared to be ringed by a fence and largely obscured by trees.

Officers investigating the farm found "a number of improvised rooms where a family lived a withdrawn life", Mr de Groot said in a statement.

He added that the police investigation is looking into "all possible scenarios", but didn't elaborate.

He said the family was now "in a safe place receiving appropriate care and attention".

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