THE granddad of “abducted” Brit teen Alex Batty is not dead and was spotted mowing grass just a week ago, neighbours claim.
PA:Press AssociationLocals in south west France say David Batty, the granddad of ‘abducted’ Brit teen Alex Batty, is not dead[/caption]
PAAlex disappeared aged 11 while on holiday with mum Melanie and David in Malaga, Spain, in 2017[/caption]
Doug SeeburgLocals in the tiny hamlet of La Bastide, in the Pyrenees, say they saw David mowing the grass outside his Gite just last week[/caption]
But locals in the tiny hamlet of La Bastide, in the Pyrenees, say the grandfather, who used the pseudonym Peter, is alive and kicking.
One neighbour, named Sebastian, said on Saturday: “Peter is not dead. I saw him a week ago, maybe ten days ago.
“Peter was a nice person. He was very shy. He would speak with me. I tried to speak to him in English but he was evasive.
“The owner of the gite, Fred, would host drinks in the garden in the summer. But Peter would never join us.
“Fred said that he had been an alcoholic and had gone back into nature to heal himself.
“He did not want to be around alcohol. That was why he would not join us.”
The granddad, who worked as a handyman, would disappear for weeks to visit Alex’s mum Melanie when she spent time living away in nearby Ariege.
17-year-old Alex, who also used the name Zak to avoid detection, would also visit.
Sebastian added: “I don’t know why the boy told the police that his granddad had died six months ago.
“I think he was telling a story to the police to cover for his granddad.
“I didn’t want to report the boy. Even though he wasn’t in school he was learning from his granddad how to be a handy man.
“He seemed happy and healthy.
“He was not being held against his will, he was not chained up, he could come and go as he pleased. They were not hiding.
“The police have not been to the hamlet. We expected them after we saw that Alex was in the news.”
The teenager was picked up by a delivery driver at 3am on Wednesday after being spotted walking along a road in the pouring rain.
Alex told driver Fabien Accidini he had been hiking for four days and nights after leaving his “spiritualist” community.
According to Toulouse deputy prosecutor Antoine Lery, the lad said his mum had a kind of “obsession” with solar panels and the trio lived off-grid.
They had moved between Spain, Morocco and Southern France since 2017, living what Mr Leroy said was a “nomadic” lifestyle.
As Accidini drove the teen to a police station, Alex told him “I need a future” before using the driver’s phone to Facebook message his gran and legal guardian Susan Caruana.
He told her: “Hello grandma it is me Alex i am in France Toulouse i really hope that you receive this message i love you i want to come home.”
Alex disappeared aged 11 while on holiday with Melanie and David in Malaga, Spain, in 2017.
Toulouse deputy prosecutor Antoine Leroy said on Friday Alex had spent the past two years in different areas of southern France living in “spiritual communities” with his mum, but not in a sect.
Melanie may now be in Finland.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) earlier said they were working with French authorities to bring Batty home to Susan.
On Saturday it was reported Alex allegedly tried to enrol in a school in France last month but nobody worked out who he was and police took no action, French media claimed.
Sky NewsDelivery driver Fabien Accidini saw Alex hiking along the road in the pouring rain and picked him up – before hearing his extraordinary story[/caption]
ReutersHe picked Alex up along this stretch of road at around 3am on Wednesday[/caption]
Pixel8000Alex’s mum Melanie and graddad David had moved the family between Spain, Morocco and Southern France since 2017[/caption]
Darren Robinson PhotographyAlex used the delivery driver’s phone to message his grandma Susan Caruana[/caption]
PA:Press AssociationAlex disappeared aged 11 while on holiday with Melanie and David in Malaga, Spain, in 2017[/caption]Leave a comment