Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

The grandmother and legal guardian of Alex Batty, the British boy who went missing six years ago, has said she “can’t wait to see him” when he returns to the UK.

In a statement issued via police, Susan Caruana said she “cannot begin to express my relief and happiness” that the 17-year-old had been found safe and well in France.

She added: “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.

“The main thing is that he’s safe, after what would be an overwhelming experience for anyone, not least a child.”

Ms Caruana also appealed for privacy “so we can make this process as comforting as possible”.

It comes after French authorities said Alex had fled his mother because she wanted to take him to Finland.

The British teenager first went missing after going on holiday with his mother and grandfather in 2017 when he was 11 – but was found this week by a pharmacy driver on a remote road.

Mother ‘unstable’ and grandfather ‘has died’

Antoine Leroy, the Toulouse assistant public prosecutor, said Alex’s mother was “rather unstable”, according to the boy.

He also revealed that Alex’s grandfather, who accompanied his mother on the 2017 trip, is thought to have died six months ago but described the circumstances as “unclear”.

Mr Leroy added: “The teenager did take part in a meditation session in relation to the death of his grandfather so we conclude that he is dead.”

Alex told police he decided his nomadic lifestyle with his mother “had to stop” when she proposed taking him to Finland.

He walked for four nights in the French Pyrenees mountains – sleeping during the day – to get away from her, Mr Leroy added.

The boy had 100 euros but no phone – and took food from fields and gardens on the way.

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Student recalls rescuing Alex Batty

Life in ‘spiritual communities’

Alex, now about 17 and a half, should be able to return to the UK tomorrow.

However, his grandmother – who’s been searching for him for years – was described as “too frail” to go to France to meet him.

Alex told French police he had been living in “spiritual communities” with his mother, grandfather and a changing selection of about 10 other people.

He spent the first two to three years moving around Morocco, said Mr Leroy, before they went to southern France when he was about 15.

Mother Melanie Batty

Grandfather David Batty

Alex told the delivery driver who picked him up that he needed protection, said the prosecutor, before revealing his remarkable story.

The teenager, who was also carrying a skateboard and torch, helped the driver finish his overnight deliveries before they went to the police station.

The teenager is originally from Oldham and his grandmother, who’s his legal guardian, had made multiple appeals to find him over the years.

Read more:
What really happened when Alex vanished?

Greater Manchester Police earlier said Alex’s grandmother is “content” the teenager is her grandson.

“The young man and Alex’s grandmother spoke in a video call last night,” said Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes.

Alex’s lifestyle over the last six years involved moving from place to place alongside families from different countries, said Mr Leroy.

The communities he lived in grew their own food, lived off solar power, did meditation and believed in reincarnation – but the French prosecutor declined to call it a “sect”.

Alex told police he was never held against his will and the prosecutor described him as “very intelligent and calm”.

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The post Alex Batty: Grandmother of British boy missing for six years says she ‘can’t wait’ to see him again appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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