Missing teenager Alex Batty ‘reunited with family member’ as he returns to UK from France

UK

A teenager found in France six years after he was reported missing has been reunited with his family and returned to the UK.

Alex Batty was 11 when he never returned from a holiday to Spain with his mother Melanie Batty, 38 – who does not have legal parental guardianship – and his grandfather David Batty, 59 in 2017.

Confirming his arrival, Matt Boyle, of Greater Manchester Police said: “Earlier today Alex met with a family member alongside Greater Manchester Police officers at Toulouse airport, before heading back to the UK.

“This moment is undoubtedly huge for him and his loved ones and we are glad that they have been able to see each other again after all this time.”

His grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana previously said she “can’t wait” to see him when he returns.

The whereabouts of his mother are not known at this time.

Now 17 years old, Alex was due to be flown from Toulouse on Saturday afternoon after a passport was expedited to allow him to return home to his grandmother.

More on Alex Batty

He was found by chiropody student Fabien Accidini while walking alone near Toulouse in the early hours of Wednesday.

Fabien Accidini - delivery driver who picked up missing briton Alex Batty
Image:
Fabien Accidini, the delivery driver who picked up missing Briton Alex Batty

Ms Caruana, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, said on Friday: “I cannot begin to express my relief and happiness that Alex has been found safe and well.

“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.”

Alex Batty's grandmother, Susan Caruana, pictured in 2017
Image:
Alex Batty’s grandmother, Susan Caruana, pictured in 2017

She asked for privacy as the family welcomed Alex back.

It is thought Alex had been living an “alternative” lifestyle with his mother and grandfather across Spain, Morocco and France while he was missing.

French officials said he decided to leave when his mother wanted to go to Finland.

Mr Accidini said the teenager told him he had been hiking in nearby mountains for more than four days in an attempt to return to England.

Read more:
What happened to Alex Batty?
‘The middle of nowhere road’ where Alex was found
Fabien says Alex ‘wants to live a normal life’

Views of the road in Toulouse where Alex Batty was found. (Screengrab from Alan Parsons package)
Image:
Views of the road in Toulouse where Alex Batty was found.

On Friday, French prosecutors said the teenager’s mother, Melanie Batty, who is wanted in connection with his disappearance, may be in Finland, while his grandfather David Batty has died.

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