German authorities located a teen boy who had been missing for over two years while searching the home of a man suspected of distributing child pornography.
Recklinghausen police were investigating the home of a 44-year-old man, according to Deutsche Welle, a German news outlet.
While searching the man’s home, they found a 15-year-old boy.
“The officers discovered a boy in the closet,” police said in a statement.
“An investigation showed this was a 15-year old boy who has been missing for a long time,” they said.
The 15-year-old, identified only as Marvin by the German outlet Bild, was last seen by social workers in 2017.
He was immediately taken into police custody.
In a statement, police said that “there is currently no indication the boy was held in the apartment against his will.”
Both the 44-year-old suspect and his 77-year-old father were initially arrested, but the suspect’s father was later released.
He is facing charges of “serious sexual crimes,” according to Deutsche Welle.
Authorities also collected electronic devices from the suspect’s home.
Marvin’s mother told Bild that her son was found in the same clothes he was last seen in and was barely recognizable.
She said he looked like “a broken old man.”
“The man with whom he was found must have manipulated Marvin,” she said of the boy. “I could go crazy thinking about the things done to him.”
The mother said it will take some time for her son to heal.
“He now needs to process what’s happened over the past two-and-a-half years,” she said. “This is all so painful.”
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