Mystery still surrounds the decision by a family of seven to trash their house and then take off in their car, leading to a major police hunt on Monday.
The family, with five children aged one to 10, disappeared from their house in Doorwerth near Arnhem, leading neighbours to call in the police because of fears for their safety.
The family was tracked down just over the border in Germany on Monday afternoon and police say they will not be taking any action.
‘We have weighed up the situation carefully and, in combination with the family’s own statement, concluded no criminal offence has been committed,’ ANP quotes a police statement as saying.
‘No complaint has been made about the damage to the house and therefore no further investigation is necessary. The family is free to go and to stay where they want.’
The children were happy and healthy when found in Germany, a police spokesman is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos. Officials have declined to give any more information about the reasons for their departure out of privacy considerations.
Officials have confirmed the family was ‘known’ to the local council but that there were ‘no concerns about the family then and nor are there now’.
Three of the children attended primary school in the village and had a farewell party on Friday, saying they were going to live in America. According to some reports, the mother is American but the Telegraaf says she is a Canadian national named Solange.
According to news agency ANP, the parents said they were going on a short holiday with the children.
Neighbours told the Telegraaf the family lived in ‘acute poverty’ and that the father Jan Willem would knock on doors asking to borrow money to feed his children. ‘You gave what you could even though you knew you would not see it again,’ neighbour Gerald van den Burgh told the paper. The local church also helped the family financially.
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