Mystery of missing boy found in child pornography suspect's cupboard grips Germany

2019-12-23 20:30
(File, Christoph Schmidt, AFP)

(File, Christoph Schmidt, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The case of a missing 15-year-old boy found in a closet at the flat of a suspected paedophile has gripped Germany, but his mother says she just wants to celebrate Christmas with her son.

Marvin had been missing for over two years when he was found hiding in a cupboard last Friday as police searched the home of a 44-year-old man suspected of distributing child pornography.

The stunning discovery in the western German town of Recklinghausen has drawn comparisons to the Austrian case of Natascha Kampusch, who was held by her kidnapper for eight years before she escaped in 2006.

A Christmas visit

Marvin, who disappeared after saying goodbye to his carers at a youth shelter early on June 11, 2017, is currently in psychiatric care.

"I want to visit him for Christmas, to celebrate a little with him," his mother Manuela B, 53, told Germany's best-selling tabloid Bild.

A police spokesperson on Monday said the decision on when Marvin can go home "is up to the doctors, not the police".

Many questions remain unanswered in the case that German media have dubbed an "Advent miracle" - including how the boy ended up at the flat and if he could have left at any time.

The 44-year-old suspect at whose flat Marvin was found has been arrested and charged with a serious sexual offence.

Prosecutors in Bochum on Monday said the man already had a 2018 conviction for possessing child pornography but was only given a ten-month suspended sentence.

The boy was already staying with the man at that point as he is understood to have lived at the flat for "at least two years", chief prosecutor Christian Kuhnert told DPA news agency.

What exactly happened in the first months after the child's disappearance "is still being looked into", he added.


"I could go crazy thinking about what's been done to him"


Police said in a statement that the officers who discovered Marvin "did not see any indications at that point that he was being held against his will".

But Marvin's mother, who was briefly reunited with her son on Friday, doubted he was there entirely out of free will.

"The man whose place they found him at must have manipulated him," she told Bild.

"I could go crazy thinking about what's been done to him."

She said Marvin was found wearing the same clothes as on the day he vanished, and said he looked like "a broken old man".

'This is all so painful'

"He now needs to process what's happened over the past two and a half years. This is all so painful."

His stepfather Michael B told the RTL broadcaster he believed the boy hadn't stayed at the flat voluntarily, adding that Marvin "didn't talk much" when he saw his mother.

An RTL reporter standing outside the flat at the weekend saw investigators carry away boxes of dirty nappies and described an overwhelming stench of urine coming from the building.

Marvin was 13 when he was living in a care home for young people, reportedly after he had trouble processing the death of his father.

After the investigation into his disappearance had gone cold, Marvin's mother and sister made a fresh appeal for information in the TV show "Aktenzeichen XY" in July, which tries to solve missing cases.

But in the end the boy's discovery was entirely coincidental.

Marvin's mother told Bild she already knows what she will give her son for Christmas.

"I want to give him new clothes."

Read more on:    germany
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.