A teenage boy who had been missing for more than two years was recently found in the closet of a child pornography suspect in Germany, according to police in the country.
Law enforcement made the discovery while searching the apartment of a 44-year-old man suspected of distributing child pornography in Recklinghausen, a city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Associated Press reports.
In a statement, CNN reports, Recklinghausen police said: “The officers discovered a boy in the closet. An investigation showed this was a 15-year-old boy who has been missing for a long time.”
A police spokesperson told CNN the victim, whose name has been kept anonymous, had been missing for two and a half years.
The boy had been living in a shelter when he was reported missing by social workers in 2017. Officials told AP it didn’t appear the boy was being kept against his will, but he remains in police protection. The boy’s mother did an interview with German publication Bild am Sonntag after being reunited with her son.
She said she had barely recognized him and that he looked like a “broken old man.” She also said he was still wearing the clothes he had on when he disappeared. The tabloid reports that he told his mother he had been locked up and not allowed to go outside.
An older man, whose age is unknown, was reportedly in the home at the time and was also arrested.A judge issued an arrest warrant for the younger man, police said in a statement.
The older man was released from custody.Equipment discovered by sniffer dogs in the home is now being investigated, police said in an additional statement.