British boy who went missing aged 11 found ALIVE in France after 'walking in mountain for days'

British boy who went missing aged 11 found ALIVE in France after 'walking in mountain for days'

WATCH NOW: Alex Batty was found alive in France after being missing for six years

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 14/12/2023

- 16:16

Updated: 15/12/2023

- 07:41

Alex Batty went missing during a holiday to Spain in 2017

A British boy who went missing at the age of 11 has been found alive in France six years later.

Alex Batty, now 17, originally from Oldham, never returned from a holiday to Spain with his mother and grandfather.

French authorities confirmed his identity after a student spotted him walking at night in the heavy rain.

He was found in the town of Revel, east of Toulouse, early on Wednesday morning.

Alex Batty went missing at the age of 11Alex Batty went missing at the age of 11GMP

Batty, who was offered a lift and then told the student his story, reportedly claimed he had been kidnapped by his mother and lived in a luxury 10-person house.

He arrived in France in 2021 and spent more than four days walking in the mountains in an attempt to return to England.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed it had been "alerted regarding a possible sighting".

Britain's fourth-largest force is in contact with French authorities and Batty is currently being looked after by social services.

An image of Melanie Batty

An image of Melanie Batty


A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: "This is a complex and long-running investigation, and we need to make further enquiries as well as putting appropriate safeguarding measures in place."

A French Gendarmerie spokesman added: "We can confirm that the young man who has been found is Alex Batty. He is well and providing information."

Batty travelled abroad with his mother Melanie Batty, then 38, and his grandfather David Batty, then 59, on a pre-agreed trip six years ago.

Both adults were prohibited from being with the boy at the time due to domestic difficulties

An image of Alex Batty

An image of Alex Batty


However, the 17-year-old's mother does not have legal parental guardianship.

The trio flew to Malaga Airport for a week-long stay near Marbella but the family failed to return to England as expected in October 2017.

Batty's legal guardian, his grandmother Susan Caruana, had not seen him since leaving the UK.

But Caruana revealed her daughter and her ex-husband previously lived on a commune in Morocco with Alex in 2014.

An image of David Batty

An image of David Batty


Speaking in 2017, Caruana said: "They didn't want [Alex] to go to school, they don't believe in mainstream school."

The area in the foothills of the Pyrenees is well-known for attracting people seeking alternative lifestyles.

A spokesperson for the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also said: "We are supporting a British national in France and are in contact with local authorities."

Greater Manchester Police first launched an investigation into Batty's disappearance in 2017 and the probe remains open.

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