Oldest Son of Family ‘Waiting for End of Times’ Emerges on Facebook

By Victor Westerkamp

The eldest sibling of the Dutch family that allegedly lived for nine years secluded on a farm waiting for the end of times has come out of anonymity.

The 25-year-old lad Jan Zon van Dorsten reached out for help when he visited a bar in the nearby village of Ruinerwold last Sunday. He has been appearing on Facebook since June after a nine-years-hibernation from social media and the world at large.

The police investigation is continuing; so far, they have confirmed that the seventh person, a 58-year-old carpenter from Austria, Josef B., is not related to the family.

Farm-in-Netherlands-family-in-isolation
A general view of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters’ reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands on Oct. 16, 2019. (Eva Plevier/Reuters)

Jan Zon reported on Facebook that he got a job as an online store manager at Creconat, located in Meppel, a village around four miles from Ruinerwold. Creconat, in turn, is owned by Josef B. Daily Mail reported.

Josef B. was arrested during the raid because he did not want to cooperate with authorities. He is now being questioned by police as there are many questions unanswered.

It is unclear whether Josef B. lived on the property together with the family. The family consists of a father and five children between the ages of 18 and 25. Josef B. rents the farm in Drenthe province, the BBC reported.

Netherland farm
An aerial picture taken on Oct. 15, 2019 shows a view of the farm where a father and six children had been living in the cellar in Ruinerwold, northern Netherlands. (Wilbert Bijzitter/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

It is unclear whether the family members were kept there against their will. How did Jan get access to Facebook after nine years of total radio-silence? How could he escape to the pub? Furthermore, authorities now state that the family did not live in the cellar but in a secluded room.

“A number of children were not registered with the civil register. A number were,” Mayor de Groot said at a press conference, according to Dutch tabloid De Telegraaf. Why the children who were registered were not on the radar of school inspectors, he could not say. “That must all be sorted out.”

General view of a remote farm
A general view of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters’ reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands on Oct. 16, 2019. (Eva Plevier/Reuters)