‘Thrilled’ gran of Brit boy Alex Batty who vanished 6 years ago reveals first chat they’ve had after miracle escape

‘Thrilled’ gran of Brit boy Alex Batty who vanished 6 years ago reveals first chat they’ve had after miracle escape

THE GRANDMOTHER of a British boy who went missing six years ago spoke of her joy after he was finally found safe and well in France. 

Alex Batty was just 11 years old when he disappeared during a family holiday in Spain in 2017.

Greater Manchester PoliceAlex Batty disappeared six years during a family holiday in Spain[/caption]

PA:Press AssociationAlex’s gran, Susan Caruana, said she was “thrilled” her grandson has been found alive[/caption]

The youngster, now 17, was travelling with his mum, Melanie, then 37, and grandfather David, then 58, when they failed to return home, sparking a kidnapping investigation.

Speaking from her home in Oldham, Gtr Manchester, Alex’s grandmother and official guardian, Susan Caruana, said she was “thrilled” that her grandson has finally been found. 

She said: “I am so happy. I have spoken to him and he is well. 

“He is currently with the authorities in France. It is such a shock. 

“I don’t know where his mum is. It is great news.

“I am just waiting for him to come home – I am thrilled.”

Susan, who never gave up hope of finding him, revealed in 2018 that she believed her daughter and ex-husband had taken him abroad to live an “alternative lifestyle”.

Alex’s grandmother Susan has never given up hope that her grandson would be found. 

Wishing him his last happy birthday message, she posted on Facebook: “Please just give me a sign that you are okay. 

“All I want to know is that you’re alive and well. 

“It’s been years of torture. My heart is broken.

“I love you so much. I hope that I will see you again some day. I would give anything just for one hug.”

In a statement, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said: “We are supporting a British national in France and are in contact with local authorities.”

Alex’s mother and grandfather remain wanted in connection with his disappearance.

Prosecutors yesterday revealed that the lad has been found alive and well nearly 900 miles away in Revel, near Toulouse, France, after fleeing a “spiritual community”.

Investigators believe Alex had been living in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

After days of hiking, he was reportedly picked up by a lorry driver who became suspicious and called police.

Alex was walking along a road with a backpack, skateboard and headlamp. 

On the way to the police station he reportedly asked to borrow the man’s phone and sent his grandmother a message via Facebook Messenger letting her know he was alive. 

It’s claimed he’d had enough living the “alternative lifestyle” and decided to leave. 

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they are in contact with the French authorities.

Local newspaper reports said: “The Alex Batty mystery is about to be solved.

“Although he did not show any official document to the gendarmes who took him in, this young 17-year-old boy provided his identity on his own.

“His face and his story correspond in every way to that of the Briton kidnapped in 2017.

“’This Thursday the Toulouse public prosecutor confirmed that it is indeed Alex Batty.

“The teenager was entrusted to the department’s social services.”

The teen reportedly told the story of what had happened to him “serenely and calmly”.

He had flown out to Spain on a pre-agreed trip with his mum and grandfather for a week-long stay in the Benahavis area, near Marbella. 

But they never returned home on October 8, 2017, sparking a massive police enquiry into the boy’s apparent abduction.

Alex’s grandmother Susan, then 62, revealed at the time that Melanie and David had previously lived on a commune in Morocco with the boy in 2014. 

She said: “They didn’t want Alex to go to school, they don’t believe in mainstream school.”

Both Melanie and David were apparently not supposed to be with Alex at the time due to domestic difficulties.

A spokesperson for GMP said last night: “This is a complex and long-running investigation, and we need to make further enquiries as well as putting appropriate safeguarding measures in place.” 

PA:Press AssociationAlex hiked for days to escape before a lorry driver picked him up and contacted police[/caption]

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