Dutch barman who raised alarm about family locked in cellar ‘thanks god’ he called police

Dutch barman who raised the alarm about family kept locked in cellar for nine years says he ‘thanks god’ he called the police after meeting one of the ‘unearthly’ adult children who could barely speak

  • Chris Westerbeek, 27, raised the alarm about the Dutch family locked in a cellar 
  • He called the police after Jan Zon van Dorsten visited his bar and shared story 
  • Mr Westerbeek, 27, revealed his shock and said he was glad he called the police

A bar owner who raised the alarm about a Dutch family kept locked in a cellar for nine years says he ‘thanks god’ he called the police. 

The eldest of the five children, Jan Zon van Dorsten, visited Chris Westerbeek’s bar in Ruinerwold, 60 miles northeast of Amsterdam three times. 

His disheveled appearance and strange manner worried the bar owner, who engaged him in conversation.

To his shock, Jan revealed how his family had not left their home in nine years, kept against their will in a nearby farmhouse. 

Mr Westerbeek, 27, has now revealed his shock at the encounter and said he was glad he called the police. 

Chris Westerbeek called police after he found out about the Dutch family kept locked in a cellar for nine years

Carpenter Josef B., 58, has been charged with abuse over the stunning case, with the father of the family also charged.   

Mr Westerbeek told the Sun: ‘There was something unearthly about him that worried me. 

‘We live in a village where everyone knows everyone else and he was a total stranger when he walked in and drank those beers that night.  

‘But then I decided to find out what was wrong and will never forget that night. He struggled to communicate but he looked so desperate I knew I had to help him. Now I thank God I did.’

He previously told RTVDrenthe he had spoken to the 25-year-old man who told him he had ‘run away and needed help. Then we called the police.’

The eldest of the five children, Jan Zon van Dorsten, visited Chris Westerbeek's bar in Ruinerwold, 60 miles northeast of Amsterdam

The eldest of the five children, Jan Zon van Dorsten, visited Chris Westerbeek’s bar in Ruinerwold, 60 miles northeast of Amsterdam

His disheveled appearance and strange manner worried the bar owner, who engaged him in conversation

His disheveled appearance and strange manner worried the bar owner, who engaged him in conversation

Jan revealed how his family had not left their home in nine years, kept against their will in a nearby farmhouse

Jan revealed how his family had not left their home in nine years, kept against their will in a nearby farmhouse

Mr Westerbeek said the man, whose beard was ‘dirty’ and hair unkempt, said that he had been inside for nine years and that he wanted to end the way his family were living.

‘He said he’d never been to school and seemed very confused. He spoke in a childish way,’ said Mr Westerbeek. He told him that his siblings were between the age of 16 and 25.

The man told Mr Westerbeek that he ‘needed help and wanted to put an end to the situation he was in,’ according to Dutch newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden.

Mr Westerbeek contacted the police who searched the farm and discovered the family.