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Missing Oldham Teen Found in France After Six Years: Remarkable Journey from Spain to Pyrenean Commune


Missing Oldham Teen Found in France After Six Years: Remarkable Journey from Spain to Pyrenean Commune

Story From Fatima Adamu, Abuja.

In a remarkable turn of events, authorities confirm that 17-year-old Alex Batty, who went missing in Spain in 2017, has been located in the town of Revel, east of Toulouse, France. The unfolding story paints a picture of an extraordinary journey, with Alex reportedly spending the past six years living in the remote Pyrenean valleys, embracing a unique lifestyle.

Early Wednesday morning, a concerned motorist spotted Alex walking along a road in the foothills of the Pyrenees and promptly took him to a police station.

British police and consular staff are en route to Toulouse to bring Alex back to England, where he is currently in a center for minors, eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Alex reveals that he had been in France for the past two years, residing in the remote Pyrenean valleys, navigating a transient lifestyle within an alternative commune.
Alex: “I decided to leave and set my own path.”

The area, known for attracting individuals seeking unconventional lifestyles, served as Alex’s refuge, although he remains tight-lipped about the exact locations and details of his stay.

The prosecutor’s office in Toulouse reveals that Alex’s mother and grandfather, who lack parental guardianship, have not been located but are wanted in connection with his disappearance.

Alex’s legal guardian and grandmother, Susan Caruana, expresses shock and happiness at the news of his discovery. In 2018, she believed that Alex’s mother and grandfather had taken him to live with a spiritual community in Morocco, seeking an alternative lifestyle.

Susan Caruana: “I am so happy. I have spoken to him, and he is well. It is such a shock.”

A delivery driver, Fabien Accidini, spots Alex walking along the road carrying a backpack and skateboard. Feeling sympathetic, he picks up the teenager.

Fabien Accidini: “He asked if he could borrow my phone and sent a message via Facebook to his grandmother, saying he was fine and wanted to see her. He was not sure if she got the message.”

Alex and the driver engage in a lengthy conversation, during which Alex shares that he left the commune to “set his own path.” He expresses a desire to see his grandmother, Susan Caruana, and borrows the driver’s phone to send a message via Facebook.

Fabien Accidini: “He was not trapped in the commune, but decided to leave and set his own path.”

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The driver, recognizing the complexity of the situation, contacts French authorities instead of helping Alex find a big city with an embassy, initiating the involvement of British police through the UK embassy in Paris.

Greater Manchester Police confirm their engagement with French authorities to implement safeguarding measures and describe the investigation as complex and long-running.

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) assures that they are supporting Alex and maintaining contact with local authorities in France.

This extraordinary story unfolds as Alex’s journey from Spain to the French Pyrenees raises numerous questions about his experiences and motivations over the past six years. The complexities of family dynamics and the unique circumstances surrounding his discovery add layers to this compelling narrative.

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