updated 7/15/2009 9:20:12 PM ET 2009-07-16T01:20:12

Two young boys who were reported missing more than a month ago in the Bahamas have reappeared, saying they were trapped in a cave, but police said Wednesday they planned to question them about the story.

The boys, ages 5 and 9, disappeared June 9 after they left home to hunt for crabs on the island of Andros. A resident called police July 12 after noticing the boys walking along a street, authorities said.

The boys reported they had fallen into a large, cavelike hole and survived by eating fruits and drinking water from a puddle, their father, Marcellin Sylverain, said.

But their mother, Vera Clarke-Sylverain, has raised questions about whether the boys might have been kidnapped, said Police Superintendent Ellsworth Moss.

He said police would interview the boys after they are released from the hospital where they were taken after being found.

"They will have to lead us to the cave, and we will look at it. Then we'll see," Moss said.

Officials have received conflicting reports about the boys, including that tourists had given them fruit to eat, island administrator Franscita Neely told The Nassau Guardian. "This is just a strange, strange story," she said.

The boys, Deangelo Clarke, 9, and Marcel Clarke, 5, are due to be released from the hospital next week, their mother said. She said one of them apparently suffered from severe dehydration and malnutrition and may have broken bones.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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