Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

A boy who went missing in 2017 and was found in France on Wednesday is expected to return to the UK in the “next few days”, police have said.

The Greater Manchester force say they are working with the French authorities to bring Alex Batty, now aged 17, back to the UK “as soon as possible”.

Police held a news conference after Alex was found in the town of Revel, near the southern French city of Toulouse, early on Wednesday morning.

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Alex Batty went missing when he was aged just 11. Pic:GMP

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said: “I think I speak on behalf of the whole of Greater Manchester Police when I say we are relieved and overjoyed to receive the news from the French authorities that, they believe Alex Batty has been found safe and well.

“It’s been six years since his disappearance.

“This is a huge moment for Alex, for his family and for the community in Oldham.

“Alex went missing whilst on holiday in 2017 when he was just 11-years-old.”

He added: “The young man and Alex’s grandmother spoke in video call last night. And whilst she is content that this is indeed Alex, we obviously have further checks to do when he returns to the United Kingdom.

“Our main priority now is to see Alex returned home to his family in the UK and our investigation team are working around the clock with partner agencies and the French authorities to ensure they are all fully supported.

“Alex and his family remain our focus and we still have some work to do in establishing the full circumstances surrounding his disappearance and where he has been in all those years.

“I can only imagine the emotions they have experienced as a family throughout this ordeal.”

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2:31

Student recalls rescuing Alex Batty

Mr Sykes said: “We’re working hard with the French authorities to bring Alex back as soon as possible and he’s getting well cared for by the French authorities.

“We’re in close liaison with them and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our priority is to get him back to the UK and getting back to his family in Oldham as soon as possible.

“I expect it to happen over the next few days.”

Where Alex had been over the years will be “at the heart of the investigation”, he added.

“We need to speak to Alex when it’s right to speak to Alex to establish the full facts.

“We have no detail of where he has been – lots of speculation – we want to speak to Alex.”

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The post Alex Batty: Missing British teenager found six years after kidnapping expected to return to UK in ‘next few days’ appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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