Andreas Grassl, 20, whose identity remained a mystery for four months after he was found on a beach in Sheerness, Kent, left his family in Bavaria last year because he feared revealing that he was gay.
His anguish was recounted yesterday by a former classmate as a picture began to emerge of the recent state of mind of Mr Grassl, who remains in hiding after returning to Germany at the weekend from a hospital in Dartford, where he was treated for an apparent nervous breakdown until he broke his silence on Friday....
"He was a good friend of mine. He had different interests and there was something a bit special about him. His parents didn't really understand him - I don't know if they thought he was gay. Neither his parents nor his two sisters really understood him. He spoke very little about his family. When he was identified it was a big shock, I didn't think he would do something like that. I didn't recognise him immediately [from the picture] because he had put on weight and his skin, which used to be spotty, had cleared up."
August 26, 2005
From The Independent: