Daily Express

British boy missing for six years found alive in France

- From Peter Allen in Paris

A BRITISH teenager who had not been seen since he was appar- ently abducted on a family holiday six years ago has been found walking along a road in France.

Alex Batty, from Oldham, was 11 when he went missing in Spain with his mother Melanie, then 37, and grandfathe­r David, 58.


It is understood they were not his legal guardians at the time.

On Wednesday he was spotted in the foothills of the Pyrenees by a delivery driver, Fabien Accidini, who took him to a police station.

Last night Greater Manchester Police said they were in contact with French authoritie­s to “establish the authentici­ty of the reported sighting of Alex”.

They added: “This is a complex and long-running investigat­ion. We need to make further enquiries as well as putting appropriat­e safeguardi­ng measures in place.”

Mr Accidini told La Depeche newspaper that he saw Alex in Revel, near Toulouse. He said: “He was quite tall and blond, and dressed in black jeans, a white sweater and a backpack. He also carried a skateboard under his arm and a flashlight.

“When I asked him his name, he pretended it was Zach, and then we continued chatting. Very quickly he gave me his real identity – Alex Batty – before telling me his story.”

Alex had claimed his mother took him away when he was 12, said Mr Accidini. “He’d lived in Spain in a luxury house with around 10 people. He arrived in France in around 2021.


“Last weekend he decided to leave his mother to join his family in England. He had been walking in the mountains for more than four days. He lived with his mother in a spiritual community, away from normal life. Alex told me his mother was a little crazy but she never imprisoned him. He could leave if he wanted. He had no animosity towards her but wanted to find his grandmothe­r.

“He missed his loved ones... I think he’s a little stressed about all this. I hope he’ll be able to reconnect with his previous life.”

His grandma, Susan Caruana, was his legal guardian when Alex disappeare­d on the pre-agreed trip to Spain. Two years ago she posted a message on Facebook for his birthday, writing: “It’s been years of torture, my heart is broken.

“I love you so much I just need to know you’re OK. I hope I will see you again some day, I would give anything just for one hug.”

 ?? ?? Mystery...Alex was 11 when he vanished
Mystery...Alex was 11 when he vanished

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