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Mystery Boy Is Puzzling Norwegians

From Associated Press

A young boy found half-frozen on a ferry from Denmark has sparked a mystery that is puzzling the Norwegian police and captivating the public.

The physically healthy boy, who is about 13, has not said a word since he was found Nov. 15. He was hiding in a lifeboat aboard a ferry that was sailing from Denmark to southern Norway.

Police have no idea who he is. No one has reported a missing child. The boy won’t or can’t say anything, although he appears to understand some Norwegian and possibly Croatian, according to police in Kristiansand, where the ferry docked.

While police pursue tips, Norway’s 4.3 million people have turned to speculation.

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Is the boy a refugee from the former Yugoslav federation? A runaway from a Scandinavian center for asylum-seekers? An orphan? An autistic child somehow separated from his family?

National concern for the boy, dubbed “Felix,” intensified on Tuesday when he vanished from a child care center in Kristiansand. The following night, the boy surfaced, wet and tired, at a nearby home.

He was holding a handwritten, one-word note. It said “Police.”

“I had tears in my eyes,” said Officer Einar Skarpeid, who picked the boy up at the house. “I saw right away that the exhausted boy was Felix.”

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The officer admitted that he had been as captivated by the boy and his mystery as the rest of the nation.

“It touches us deep inside,” Skarpeid told Norway’s largest newspaper, Verdens Gang. “We’re sure this poor boy has a painful story that none of us knows. He’s been alone on the run and no one misses him. It shouldn’t be like that.”


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