The 11-year-old British boy whose mother kidnapped him in 2017 has finally returned home to Oldham in Greater Manchester after he was discovered walking along the side of the road in southern France, CNN reported.
Alex Batty, 17, was found in Haute-Garonne, not far from the city of Toulouse by chiropractic student Fabien Accidini, who spotted the teen on the side of the road while making overnight medicine deliveries to pharmacies. The teen was walking in the rain carrying a skateboard, backpack, and a flashlight.
Accidini said he stopped because it was raining and he was wondering what the teen was doing on the road at that hour. He said after first giving a false name, Batty revealed his story to Accidini, speaking with him for three hours in both English and French.
Accidini said the boy told him that his mother “kidnapped” him in Morocco in 2017 and later took him to Spain where he remained for three years before going to France where he had been living in a “spiritual community” for the past two years.
In a 2019 police appeal for Batty’s return, his grandfather told reporters that the boy’s mother was not his legal guardian.
The 17-year-old Batty told Accidini that his mother was a “bit crazy.”
Accidini told reporters that Batty said he had been walking for four days after leaving the mountains and had no idea where he was going. He said the teen said he would be glad to return to England and see his grandmother again. Batty told Accidini that he didn’t want to spend his life in that spiritual community but wanted to go back to a “real life with a real future.”
According to Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Matt Boyle, Batty flew home from France on Saturday, December 16, CBS News reported.