German police release "village phantom" held by parents for 3 decades

A man who was allegedly held in his parents' home in southern Germany for nearly 30 years has been released and is receiving treatment in hospital, a local official said Wednesday.

The 43-year-old's parents are being investigated on suspicion of unlawful detention and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, according to Porsch Christian, a spokesman for the district of Upper Franconia.

"He is doing well under the circumstances and he is being cared for by qualified personnel" at the Bayreuth regional hospital, Christian said.

The man is known to have attended primary school near his parents' home in the Bavarian town of Hollfeld before disappearing around 1989.

Mass circulation newspaper Bild reported that the man had been shell-shocked, malnourished and dishevelled when he was picked up by police, who were responding to a tip-off.

Michael Schueler, a doctor at the hospital, told Bild that specialists were determining whether the patient is mentally ill or developmentally disabled.

Regional newspaper Nordbayerischen Kurier, which is referring to the man as the "village phantom," interviewed his mother, who claims her son was so severely bullied at school that she had had no choice but to keep him at home.

Last update: Wed, 05/10/2016 - 13:23

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