The news that a father hid six children for nine years in an inconspicuous farm in Ruinerwold and left them isolated has spread all over the world. Ex neighbour of the family reveals more about the family.
There are still many questions about how the father, Gerrit Jan van D, managed to keep his children so hidden. More and more testimonials are appearing in the Dutch media that are starting to paint a picture of the kind of father Gerrit Jan van D is.
For example, on the website of RTV Drenthe, an interview with an ex neighbour of the family, Sandra Soer, has been shared. However, they were neighbours in the city of Hasselt, before the family had relocated to Ruinerwold.
The father (67) has been implied to be the ‘boss’ and a dominant figure. ‘’He directed his wife, his children and also Josef B,” Sandra Soer tells.
She paints a clear picture of the father, Gerrit Jan, who was isolated in Ruinerwold with six children for more than nine years. “He was tall and thin, with a beard, and behaved like a dominant man. His wife, a small, narrow woman with straight long hair, was always anxious,” says Soer.
“When she was outside and she heard a car coming, she immediately went inside, as if she was not allowed to come outside. Josef B also showed anxious behavior towards him. He did everything for him, but we never actually had contact with Josef, even though he lived next to us. He said hello and that was it,” she tells.
Soer revealed that she saw nine children there. Of those nine, there were five girls and four boys.
Soer and her daughter, Jo-Ellen, describe the appearances of the children: “They all looked exactly alike. They were skinny and they had long hair, so you hardly saw any difference between the girls and boys. They were allowed to come outside, but only in their own garden, surrounded by a fence. And for them, outside really was outside: the front door was locked. ”
It was announced that Gerrit Jan van D., the father, adhered to various beliefs and recorded various videos about that. He also spread spiritual religious messages on Facebook, under the pseudonym John Eagles.