British Boy Missing for 6 Years Turns Up In France After Running Away From Commune

Per Manchester Police, Alex Batty, now a teenager, was found by a delivery driver while walking on a rainy night in the French town of Revel. His mother and grandfather are wanted in connection with his disappearance.

A 17-year-old boy from England who went missing in Spain in 2017 has been found.

According to Manchester Police, Alex Batty, who is originally from Oldham, went missing while on vacation with his mother and grandfather.

Now, six years later, Batty is safe after being found in the French town of Revel, east of Toulouse, France on Wednesday morning.

Batty was just 11 when he disappeared and subsequently reported missing.

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Per law enforcement authorities, Batty was taken to a police station by a concerned driver who saw him walking along the road in the rain. Batty said he had been in France for two years, per police who told the BBC that he shared a resemblance to the last known picture of him.

Back in 2019, Batty’s grandmother and legal guardian, Susan Caruana, told the BBC that she believed Batty’s mother, Melanie Batty, and grandfather, David Batty, had taken him to live with then in a spiritual community in Morocco.

She said they were seeking an alternative lifestyle and did not want Batty to go to school.

Caruana told told The Times of London that she has spoken with Alex and “it is definitely him.” She added, “I was speaking to a boy when he was with us, and now I’m speaking to a man. It’s quite unbelievable when you don’t know if somebody’s dead or alive.”

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Per BBC, a local journalist in France said that Batty was carrying a backpack and skateboard when a delivery driver, feeling sorry for him, picked him up.

“They spent three hours together in the car, and the boy told his story,” Remi Buhagiar of La Depeche newspaper told the outlet.

“He said he’d been living in a kind of itinerant commune. He wasn’t under any compulsion but he said he found his mother a bit weird and decided he didn’t want this kind of life, and that he wanted to set his own path — that’s why he decided to leave,” he added.

Batty also claimed he had been walking for days when the delivery driver picked him up.

Per the reporter, Batty asked the driver if he could borrow his phone to send a message to his grandmother on Facebook to let her know that he was fine and that he wanted to see her.

Batty is currently in the care of social services, with the BBC reporting that British police have been contacted via the embassy in Paris.

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