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Missing British boy Alex Batty reunites with family as he returns to UK

Missing British boy Alex Batty reunites with family as he returns to UK

Alex Batty went missing while on holiday with his mother and grandfather in 2017

British teenager Alex Batty, who went missing in Spain six years ago, has being reunited with his family after being found in France.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed in a statement today (16 December) that Batty had returned to the UK after he was found by a motorist on Wednesday.

In their statement, Assistant Chief Constable Matt Boyle acknowledged there had been 'huge interest' in the story of Batty, who is now 17 years old.

Alex Batty went missing in 2017.

"It gives me great pleasure to say that Alex has now made his safe return back to the UK after six years," Boyle continued.

He went on to say that Batty was met by a family member as well as GMP officers at Toulouse Airport, where he caught a flight to the UK.

Boyle continued: "This moment was undoubtedly huge for him and his loved ones, and we are glad that they have been able to see each other again after all this time.

“Before being found by a member of the public close to Toulouse on the evening of Wednesday 13 December 2023, Alex had been missing since 2017.

“We are aware that the French authorities disclosed detailed information during yesterday’s press conference relating to what Alex may have been doing, and where he has been, over his years missing."

Police in the UK are yet to get statements from Batty.
ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

"GMP are yet to obtain any formal statements from Alex and therefore we cannot comment on this at this time," Boyle went on.

"Speaking with him, at a pace that feels comfortable to him, will ultimately determine how this case is progressed and whether there is a criminal investigation to ensue.

“Our continued focus is supporting Alex and his family in partnership with other local agencies to ensure they are safe, their wellbeing is looked after, and his reintegration with society is as easy as possible.

“We are yet to establish the full circumstances surrounding his disappearance, but no matter what, understand that this may be an overwhelming process. He may now be six years older than when he went missing, but he is still a young person.

“I would continue to ask for the community and media’s support in granting Alex and his family privacy as they look to move forward.”

The whereabouts of Batty's mother is currently unknown. She does not have parental guardianship of the 17 year old.

Though police have not yet received statements from Batty on his whereabouts, the teenager is believed to have been living a nomadic lifestyle for the last few years with his mother and grandfather in spiritual communities.

French officials said Batty decided to leave their company when his mother wanted to go to Finland.

Featured Image Credit: GMP/PA