Missing Manchester boy Alex Batty believed to have been found in France six years after disappearance
A French prosecutor has said his identity has been confirmed by his family.
Manchester boy, Alex Batty, who went missing six years ago is believed to have been found in France according to local authorities.
For those who don’t remember the story, Alex Batty went missing when he was just 11 years old whilst on holiday with grandparents in Spain on 30 September 2017 and, as per various reports, may now have been identified in France.
Having been escorted to a police station by a concerned motorist in the town of Revel, near Toulouse, the teenager originally from Oldham was flagged as a possible sighting and is said to be answering to the name Alex Batty.
The young boy told French police he had been in France for two years, with local authorities having noted that he bore a resemblance to the last known picture of Alex. He was also reported to be in good health and had ‘not been mistreated in any way’.
While full confirmation is still yet to be officially announced, the prosecutor’s office in Toulouse is currently verifying the identity to the BBC, stating: “It is the missing child. The family have confirmed it.”
His grandmother and legal guardian, Susan Caruana, told the outlet in 2018 that she believed Alex’s mother Melanie and grandad David had taken him to live with a ‘spiritual community’ somewhere in Morocco after wanting him to live an ‘alternative lifestyle’.
French journalist Remi Buhagiar of La Depeche newspaper explained that the young boy was picked up by a passing delivery driver who found him wandering the foothills of the Pyrenees with a rucksack and a skateboard before picking him up and listening to his story for “three hours”.
The now 17-year-old believed to be Alex was found walking in the rain at night and had reportedly been travelling for days. As per Sky News, he told the passerby that he’d been kidnapped by his mother and had been living in a luxury house in Spain with a group of around 10 people.
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Buhagiar went on to add that Batty “asked the driver if he could borrow his phone and sent a message via Facebook to his grandmother, saying he was fine and wanted to see her”, although he was unsure if she got the message.
The boy is currently being looked after by social services and Greater Manchester Police have been contacted via the embassy in Paris to put “safeguarding measures in place”.
A spokesperson for GMP said: “This is a complex and long-running investigation, and we need to make further enquiries as well as putting appropriate safeguarding measures in place.”
We sincerely hope it indeed proves to be Alex and that he will soon be reunited with his family members back here in the UK.
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Featured Images — GMP