He returned to the United Kingdom on Saturday, six years after departing for what was supposed to be a two-week trip to Spain with his family.
Unfortunately, Batty did not come back from his trip to visit his grandma and caretaker in Oldham, close to Manchester. Despite her desperate pleas, he could not be found until this week when he was discovered walking on a road in the middle of the night in southern France.
Matt Boyle, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, stated that Batty had traveled to England from Toulouse by plane.
At the age of 17, Alex informed French authorities that he and his family had been leading a wandering existence in Spain, Morocco, and France. They were part of a spiritual group and traveled frequently, growing their own sustenance and dedicating time to practices such as meditation and studying concepts like reincarnation.
According to French prosecutor Antoine Leroy, Alex made the decision to leave when his mother expressed her desire to relocate the family to Finland. This statement was made during a press conference on Friday.
A delivery driver, named Fabien Accidini, saw him walking in the rain and darkness with a flashlight, a rucksack, and a skateboard. Accidini offered him a ride and the person, Alex, shared their story of walking for four days through the isolated and rocky Pyrenees at night.
Accidini reported that the boy claimed to have been abducted by his mother several years ago. He also mentioned that the boy had been living in France for the past two years with his mother, who was involved in a peculiar spiritual community.
“He had reached his breaking point. He declared, ‘I am seventeen years old and I deserve a future.’ Unfortunately, he couldn’t envision a promising future for himself in that place.”
British authorities are searching for Melanie Batty, the mother of Alex, who has gone missing. According to French officials, she may be located in Finland, while Alex’s grandfather, David Batty, is thought to have passed away approximately six months ago.
The story has sparked great curiosity in the United Kingdom, as a picture of 11-year-old Alex with blonde hair was featured in newspapers and news sites. Alex’s grandmother, Susan Caruana, requested for the family to be granted privacy and understanding.
She released a statement through British police, expressing her immense relief and joy that Alex was found safe and in good condition.
The most important thing is that he is safe, after going through a very difficult experience that would be challenging for anyone, especially a child. I kindly request that our family’s privacy is respected as we welcome Alex back and work towards making this transition as comforting as possible.
Boyle, the officer from Britain’s police force, stated that investigators will be conducting conversations with Alex at a pace that makes him feel at ease.
“Despite any circumstances, we acknowledge that this could be a daunting procedure,” the speaker stated. “Although he may have aged six years since his disappearance, he is still considered a youth.”