POLICE in the Netherlands have arrested a second suspect in connection with the case. In addition to arresting a 58-year-old man, Dutch police confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that they have also detained a 67-year-old man.
The family of seven allegedly spent nine years in the basement and were only found after one family member escaped. Initial reports said they were waiting for “the end of time” — many of the children believed they were the only humans on Earth.
A judge ordered the 58-year-old man, who rented the farm, to be detained for two weeks on suspicion of involvement in “deprivation of liberty and harming the health of others.” The second suspect—the father—is being held on the same allegations.
It has been revealed that the Austrian man, identified only as Josef B, the father and the captive family were all part of South Korea’s controversial Unification Church, dubbed “Moonies”.
Wim Koetsier, of the Universal Peace Federation, the name the church now goes by, confirmed that the father of the family was a member in the 1980s, before leaving for Germany where “we lost sight of him”.
He said he believed the father “together with someone else” had since started their own group.
Koetsier clarified that Josef B, however, “was never a member”
Josef B’s brother, who has been named as Franz B informed in a separate statement that his brother had previously been in a cult after leaving military service, although he did not say which religious group.
“He was in a sect. We’ve had no contact with him for 10 years. I told him to get lost when he wanted me to become his financial guarantor,” Franz B told local media.
Adding that Josef B had twin daughters with a Japanese woman.
This recent case has raised memories in Austria of a series of cases in which people were kept in secret rooms for years by sexual predators, including incest father Joseph Fritzl and Wolfgang Priklopil.
Priklopil’s victim Natascha Kampusch stated: “It’s horrible, this case has reopened all my wounds.
“But it doesn’t surprise me. As we already knew, these kinds of terrible crimes don’t only exist in Austria but across the world.”