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Missing British boy found alive in France six years later

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A British boy who was thought to have been kidnapped by his estranged mother and grandfather six years ago is believed to have surfaced this week in France.
 

Alex Batty, now 17, was found in Revel, outside of Toulouse, on Wednesday, Dec. 13, La Depeche reported.

The teen – who is originally from Oldham in Greater Manchester – gave his own name and identity to local authorities, the outlet added.
 

He is thought to have run away on his own last week from some sort of “spiritual community,” the report continued.


 

Greater Manchester Police are working to verify the French authorities’ claims that Batty is who he says he is.

Missing British boy found alive in France six years later

Batty was only 11 years old when his mother, Melanie Batty, and his maternal grandfather, David Batty – neither of whom had custody of him – took him to Spain for a pre-agreed holiday on Sept. 30, 2017, the BBC reported.
 

The trio was last seen together at the Port of Malaga on Oct. 8 – but never returned to the UK, the outlet explained.

Batty’s grandmother, Susan Caruana, who had legal guardianship of him, later told the press that she believed Melanie and David took the child because they had a “different belief system.”
 

“They didn’t want him to go to school, they don’t believe in mainstream school,” the grieving grandmother explained, according to the BBC.
 

Authorities speculated that Melanie may have taken her son to a commune in Morocco, the Greater Manchester Police said in an appeal for information in 2019.
 

Melanie and David supposedly brought Batty into a traveling community of some sort, and had been moving between Ariège and Aude in the weeks before the teen’s discovery, La Depeche said.

Batty allegedly left the group of his own volition at the end of the last week, and was eventually hitchhiked with a trucker who noticed something was off about the teen’s situation, the outlet explained.
 

The truck driver reportedly alerted authorities.
 

Batty told his story “serenely and calmly,” La Depeche said.
 

He is now with social services while authorities wait for his relatives to come forward.

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