Toulouse, France – December 16, 2023
In a remarkable turn of events, Alex Batty, a British boy who vanished six years ago during a trip to Spain, has been located in France at the age of 17. The Toulouse prosecutor’s office confirmed that Alex is currently residing at a youth center in the city and is expected to return to the United Kingdom within the day.
Alex Batty’s disappearance dates back to 2017, during a holiday with his mother and grandfather in Spain. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance suggest the involvement of his mother and grandfather, who currently have no legal guardianship of the boy and remain unlocated.
Motorists discovered the now 17-year-old wandering through the rain near Toulouse in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Alex revealed to both motorists and police officers that he had spent the past two years in France, leading a nomadic lifestyle within an itinerant commune that embraced an alternative way of life. His motivation for leaving was rooted in a yearning for his loved ones in the UK.
Expressing a strong desire to return home, Alex utilized a motorist’s phone to convey a heartfelt message to his grandmother, Susan Caruana, who serves as his legal guardian: “I love you, I want to come home.”
Susan Caruana had previously informed the BBC in 2018 that she believed Alex’s mother and grandfather had taken him to reside in a spiritual community in Morocco. At the time, the family was reportedly exploring alternative lifestyles and had reservations about formal education for the boy.
The public prosecutor in Toulouse, Samuel Vuelta-Simon, stated, “We are waiting for the grandmother to come and get him. We are waiting to set up repatriation with the British.” Vuelta-Simon assured that they are closely coordinating with British authorities to facilitate the seamless repatriation process.
The discovery of Alex Batty after six years brings a mix of relief and anticipation, as his family awaits the reunion with their long-missing loved one. The details surrounding his journey and the circumstances of his disappearance add layers of intrigue to a story that has captured the attention of both local and international communities.