Alex Batty speaks to grandmother for first time in YEARS after being 'brainwashed' living in a cult

Alex Batty speaks to grandmother for first time in YEARS after being 'brainwashed' living in a cult
Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 15/12/2023

- 09:48

Updated: 15/12/2023

- 12:11

The teenager said he had been hiking in nearby mountains for more than four days after escaping the commune

British teenager Alex Batty has spoken to his grandmother for the first time since being abducted by his mother and grandfather in 2017.

The now 17, who went missing in 2017 after going on a family holiday to Spain, was abducted by his mother Melanie and grandfather David.

The family flew to Malaga Airport for a week-long stay in the Benahavis area near Marbella in.

However, they did not return to England as expected.

\u200bAlex Batty and his grandmother

Alex Batty's grandmother and legal guardian spoke to her grandson last night


Alex was rescued yesterday when a local student spotted the teenager walking alone near the city of Toulouse and offered him a lift.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes of Greater Manchester Police said Susan Caruana has now spoken to the boy and was “content” he was her grandson.

Sykes told reporters in a press conference this morning: “The young man and Alex’s grandmother spoke on a 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.

An image of Alex Batty

Alex Batty disappeared in 2017


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

Questioned on whether there was a timeline to bring Alex back to the UK, the officer said: “We’re working hard with the French authorities to bring Alex back as soon as possible."

Reacting to the finding of the missing Briton, Alex's aunt, Maureen Batty, said she feared for the teenager's wellbeing after having spent so long living in the commune.

"Alex has been brainwashed by the religion David was in," the 73-year-old told the Daily Mail.

"Alex hasn't had any education while out there, so we don't know what he'll be like when he comes home.

"[He] has had it rough. It is a mess.

"I've been told that Alex said that he had escaped and he didn't want to lead that lifestyle.

"I just want to know the truth about what's gone on."It is thought he had been living in a luxury house in Spain with around 10 people as part of a “spiritual community”, before moving to France in around 2021.

The teenager said he had been hiking in nearby mountains for more than four days in an attempt to return to England when he was rescued.

Alex's grandmother and legal guardian, Susan, is understood to have spoken to her grandson last night.

"We heard yesterday that he had been found. We're now arranging via the police to see him and hope to in the next few days," Susan's new husband, Emanuel, said.

"We miss him very much. We've been hoping, praying he'd be found safe."

David and Melanie Batty remain wanted in connection with Alex’s disappearance.

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