A BRITISH boy who mysteriously vanished during a Marbella holiday six years ago has been found alive and well in France, the public prosecutor has announced.
Alex Batty, who was 11 years old at the time of his kidnapping in 2017, turned up in Revel, a remote region in the French Pyrenees near Toulouse.
The teenager, now 17, was feared to have been kidnapped by his own mother and grandfather and whisked away to lead an ‘alternative lifestyle’, sparking an international manhunt.
But he was picked up by a truck driver in the French countryside on Wednesday, December 13, six years later after running away from the rural ‘spiritual’ community where he had been living in caravans and tents.
The driver sensed something wasn’t right and alerted the authorities, and local gendarmes took Alex into custody.
Despite not presenting any official documents, Alex voluntarily told the police officers who he was.
His account and appearance matched the details of the British boy kidnapped in 2017, leading to confirmation by the Toulouse public prosecutor that the individual is indeed Alex Batty.
It solves a perplexing mystery that has long captivated audiences.
Alex, from Oldham, was initially on holiday to Benahavis with his mother, Melanie Batty, then 37, and grandfather, David Batty, then 58.
However, neither was actually permitted to care for him due to domestic issues.
The family was due to return after a two-week trip but never did, sparking widespread concern and a lengthy investigation.
Alex’s grandmother and official guardian, Susan Caruana, had reported his disappearance at the time and has long been ‘desperate’ to get him back.
Over the years, the case saw little progress, with brief sightings in Spain and Morocco but no substantial leads.
Following his discovery, Alex has been placed under the care of the department’s social services until he can be reunited with his legal guardians.