Does Forest Boy Belong To Your Family?
June 14, 2012

Does Forest Boy Belong To Your Family?

Michael Harper for

Berlin Police have released the photo of “Ray,” a teenage boy without parents who wandered into Berlin 9 months ago. Known to Berliners as “Forest Boy,” Ray told police when he first arrived that he had been living in the woods with his father for the past 5 years. After exhausting every possible channel to find any member of Ray´s family, they´re releasing the photo in hopes someone recognizes him as family.

According to, Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf has said every attempt to find family members for the English speaking teen have been fruitless and are now asking the public for help.

“We have checked his DNA against all missing person reports, sent the data to Interpol so that they could check it internationally, but unfortunately without any success,” Neuendorf said.

Ray´s story, should it be true, is an interesting one.

The teenage boy has told the authorities to simply call him Ray, as he doesn´t remember his family name. He does, however, remember his birthday: June 20, 1994.

Ray has also told the Berlin authorities that his mother, Doreen, died in a car accident when he was just 12 years old. After her death, he and his father took to the woods to live in solitude, wandering the forest by way of maps and compasses and staying in caves and tents overnight. When his father passed in August of last year, Ray said he buried him in the forest and began walking north for 5 days before landing in Berlin´s City Hall, carrying only a backpack and a tent.

According to Neuendorf, the German authorities have been unable to confirm any details about the death of Ray´s mother or find his father´s body in the woods.

“There are many question marks,” Neuendorf told Time.

"The Youth Office and the Berlin Police have great doubts on the boy's story. That is the reason why the Youth Office now decided to publish a photo of 'Ray' and ask for your help," authorities said in a statement.

While the police look for any member of his family, Ray has enrolled in school and is under the care of youth services. He has been learning German very quickly, and has even adapted to the technological life with ease, possibly a tell-tale sign.

“Everything gives the impression that he was not far away from civilization for years,” Neuendorf said.

Ray speaks English with just a bit of an accent. As such, authorities have not ruled out the possibility that his family could be American or British.

Brad Garret, former FBI special agent with expertise in missing persons told ABC, "Investigators will have to be very enterprising in this case. They will need to go outside the normal areas of law enforcement to try and get results."

According to Garret, the authorities–which include German police and Interpol–may have to conduct intensive physical and psychological tests to find out if Ray´s story is authentic.

"They will need to know that he is mentally stable to ensure that his story appears true."

Ray is described as being 16-20 years old, 5 feet 11 inches with blonde hair and blue eyes and an athletic build.

He has three scars on his forehead, three small scars on his chin, and one small scar on his right forearm. Despite wandering in from the woods, police say his hands, fingernails and teeth appear well kept.