17-Year-Old Boy Who Was Declared Missing as Child Found Safe in France - Conservative Nation
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17-Year-Old Boy Who Was Declared Missing as Child Found Safe in France



This week, a 17-year-old British boy was found safe in France, six years after being taken by his mother, recently running away from her because she wanted to move them to Finland, a report says. 

Alex Batty was 11 years old in 2017 when he went on a two-week trip to Spain with his grandfather and mother, Melanie Batty, who did not have legal custody of him and allegedly abducted him. However, after the two weeks were up, the trio had not returned to the U.K., leading his grandmother to sound the alarm. 

After they went off the grid, they were moving all around Europe, Alex told BBC News. They lived in Morocco for some time and also spent time in the French Pyrenees with a group of approximately 10 “spiritual” people. The Pyrenees are known for people who seek out alternative lifestyles. 

The BBC reported that Alex finally ran away from his mother after she attempted to move them to Finland, saying that he wanted to return to his life in the U.K. 

He was found in southwestern France on Wednesday by a delivery driver and is expected to return to his family in the U.K. by Sunday. 

Susan Caruana, the boy’s grandmother, allowed Alex to go on the trip to Spain with his mother and grandfather but feared they had kidnapped him when they didn’t return home. 

Caruana told interviewers at the time that she was concerned her daughter and ex-husband had taken the boy to live an “alternative lifestyle” and that they didn’t want him going to “mainstream school.”

Alex reportedly told French officials that he had not received a formal education while traveling with his mother. While his mother’s whereabouts are still unknown, his grandfather is believed to have died six months ago. 

Alex’s family in the U.K. is “massively relieved” and highly emotional about the boy’s rescue. 

“I think I speak on behalf of the whole of Greater Manchester Police when I say we were relieved and overjoyed to receive news from the French Authorities that they believe Alex Batty had been located safe and well, more than 6 years after his disappearance,” Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said in a statement. “This is a huge moment for Alex, for his family and for the community in Oldham.”

While his grandmother is positive that it’s him, Alex will be further checked when he returns to the U.K., Sykes said. 

His grandmother said in a statement released by the police: “I cannot begin to express my relief and happiness that Alex has been found safe and well. I spoke with him last night and it was so good to hear his voice and see his face again. I can’t wait to see him when we’re reunited.” 

She added, “The main thing is that he’s safe, after what would be an overwhelming experience for anyone, not least a child. I would ask that our family are given privacy as we welcome Alex back, so we can make this process as comforting as possible.”

Toulouse Assistant Public Prosecutor Antoine Leroy told reporters, according to the BBC, “When his mother indicated that she was going to leave with him to Finland, this young man understood that this had to stop” and it was time to “get his life back in the U.K.” 

Alex walked during the night and slept during the day for four days after leaving his mother until he met a delivery driver who offered him a ride, Leroy said. The BBC reported that Alex asked to use the driver’s phone, then called his grandmother and said, “Hello Grandma, it’s me Alex. I’m in France — Toulouse. I really hope that you receive this message. I love you, I want to come home.”

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