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'Forest boy' mystery: Stumped German police release photo

Berlin Police via AFP / Getty Images

A boy who calls himself "Ray" is seen after arriving in Berlin in September 2011.

MAINZ, Germany -- Berlin police on Wednesday released a photograph of the so-called "forest boy," an English-speaking youth who wandered into the German capital nine months ago saying he had lived in the woods for five years with his father.

Investigators have failed to identify him and police are now hoping the image will prompt leads from the public.

The boy has told authorities his father called him "Ray" and that he was born June 20, 1994. However, he claims not to know his last name or where he's from. 


"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," police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf said.

Investigators told NBC News that DNA evidence suggests Ray is most likely from a neighboring country, as opposed to the United States. Authorities also believe that English might not be his native language.

The boy was unable or refused to give his family name or any other biographical information when he showed up at the German capital's City Hall on September 5.

English-speaking teen: I lived five years in woods

He said his mother, Doreen, died in a car accident when he was 12 and after that he and his father, Ryan, took to the forest. He said they wandered using maps and a compass, staying in tents or caves overnight. 

'Many question marks'
He told authorities that after his father died in August, 2011, he buried him in the forest and then walked five days north before ending up in Berlin. Police told NBC News that they have not been able to find a corresponding dead body.

"There are many question marks," Neuendorf added.

Ray has also quickly adapted to city life and technology, using a laptop and his cell phone with no problems.  

"Everything gives the impression that he was not far away from civilization for years," Neuendorf told The Associated Press.

The boy is being taken care of by youth services and has been assigned a legal guardian.

Ray is described as being somewhere between 16-20 years old and about 5-foot 11-inches tall. He has dark blonde hair and blue eyes, and three small scars on his forehead, three small scars on his chin and a small scar on his right arm. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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