An 11-year-old British schoolboy who went missing while traveling with family members in Spain six years ago and was thought to have been abducted by them, has been found alive and well in France, according to a report by French news outlet La Depeche.
Alex Batty, of Greater Manchester in England, was found by police on Wednesday evening in Revel in Haute-Garonne in southwestern France, the publication reports.
Batty, who is now 17, went on vacation to Marbella, Spain, with his mother, Melanie Batty, and his grandfather, David Batty, in September 2017 even though both adults were barred from being with the boy at the time because of domestic issues, according to reports.
His grandmother, Susan Caruana, allowed the boy to go on a two-week vacation with them, but when they never returned home, she then sounded the alarm fearing they had kidnapped him.
In interviews at the time, Caruana said she believed her daughter and ex-husband had taken the boy abroad to live an “alternative lifestyle” and that they didn’t want him going to “mainstream school.”
Caruana said she had not heard from Batty since his disappearance.
The trio had since become part of a traveling spiritual community that would have regularly stayed in Aude and Ariège in southern France, sleeping in tents, caravans or lodges, La Depeche reports. The publication states that Batty decided to leave the group at the end of last week to “lead his own life.”
After days of hiking, he was picked up by a truck driver who became suspicious and called the police. The teen did not have any identifiable information on him, but police are confident it is Batty after quizzing him, according to La Depeche.
“Faced with investigators, he recounted his incredible journey, serenely and calmly,” La Depeche reports.
“His story has been verified and appears to correspond to reality. Following this hearing, the teenager was entrusted to the department’s social services while waiting for his relatives to come forward.”
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) told Fox News Digital that they have not yet confirmed that the teen is Batty and that they are in contact with French authorities to establish the authenticity of the report.
“This is a complex and long-running investigation, and we need to make further enquiries (sic) as well as putting appropriate safeguarding measures in place,” a GMP spokesperson told Fox News Digital via email.
GMP said that Melanie Batty and David Batty have still not been located and are wanted in connection with Alex’s disappearance.