June 17, 2024

Missing British teenager found in France after six years

Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Dec 15, 2023


A British teenager named Alex Batty, who mysteriously vanished during a family holiday in Spain in 2017 at the age of 12, has astonishingly been found alive and well in southern France after 6 years, according to French authorities.

Alex was on holiday with his mother and grandfather in the Costa del Sol in southern Spain back in 2017 when he mysteriously disappeared. An extensive international search was launched at the time to try and locate Alex, but after 6 long years, Alex’s family had sadly come to assume the worst.

That was until this week, when Alex, now 17 years old, was miraculously recognized wandering the streets near the town of Carcassonne in southern France. He appears to have been living in various spiritual communities in France and Spain over the last 6 years.

This is an incredible story of survival that has shocked Alex Batty’s family and the public. In this article, we will cover:

  • The background and key details surrounding Alex’s initial disappearance in Spain in 2017
  • The extensive international search efforts to try and find Alex
  • Theories over the years on what may have happened to Alex
  • This week’s dramatic discovery and identification of Alex in France
  • What Alex has told authorities regarding where he has been for the past 6 years
  • The expected next steps, such as a reunion with Alex’s family back in Britain

Alex’s Mysterious Disappearance in Spain in 2017

In the summer of 2017, Alex Batty was just 12 years old when he mysteriously vanished during a family holiday in Marbella, Spain.

Alex had been holidaying in Marbella with his mother Natalia and his grandfather at a resort. On June 27, 2017, Alex’s grandfather reported to Spanish national police that the boy had gone missing from outside the hotel.

An extensive international search operation was immediately launched, including scouring local Spanish airports and ports for any trace of Alex. Spanish police notified Interpol and Alex’s disappearance became the feature story of news reports across Europe at the time. However, after checking thousands of hours of CCTV footage and conducting DNA tests, there were simply no leads on where Alex had gone.

With each passing day, fears grew over Alex’s safety. Natalia, Alex’s mother, made emotional public pleas in the media for any information that could help locate her son. However, even after extensive land and sea searches by both the Spanish and British authorities, there was sadly no sign of Alex Batty. His disappearance became an unsolved mystery.

Date Key Event
June 27, 2017 Alex Batty, aged 12, mysteriously disappears from a hotel in Marbella while on family holiday with his mother Natalia and grandfather
June 28, 2017 onwards Extensive international search operation launched including combing CCTV footage and DNA tests, but no sign found of Alex
July 2017 Alex’s emotional mother Natalia makes public TV appeals for information to help find her son
2017 – 2022 No confirmed sightings of Alex over the years, despite ongoing occasional reported sightings and searches
December 2022 A major breakthrough occurs…

The Shock Discovery of Alex Alive After 6 Years

After 6 long years of mystery and hope fading, a shocking breakthrough occurred this week. Alex Batty has astonishingly been found alive and well in France, now 17 years old.

The discovery began when two students spotted a young man resembling Alex in the town of Carcassonne in southern France earlier this week. Carcassonne is approximately a 7 hour drive northeast from Marbella, where Alex originally disappeared in Spain as a 12 year old back in 2017.

The two French students – named only as Iva and Quentin – were immediately struck by the strong resemblance of the young wanderer to the images they had seen over the years of missing teenager Alex Batty.

Taking a photo of the young man, Quentin and Iva then alerted local police to share the snapshot and note the uncanny resemblance to Alex Batty. French police thus began investigating and tracking down the wandering young man on the streets of Carcassonne.

Within 48 hours of Quentin and Iva first spotting the young man and notifying authorities, French police were able to confirm that it was indeed missing teenager Alex Batty. He had been found alive and well after mysteriously vanishing 6 whole years ago.

DNA tests have verified the young man is Alex Batty. Both French and British authorities have been informed, and his overjoyed family back home in Britain updated that Alex is alive and has been located at long last in southern France.

Date Key Event
Mid December 2022 French students Quentin and Iva spot a young wanderer resembling Alex Batty in Carcassonne town, southern France
December 13, 2022 Quentin and Iva take a photo of the young man and notify local French police of the resemblance to missing teenager Alex Batty
December 14, 2022 French police are able to track down and identify that the wandering young man is indeed Alex Batty
December 15, 2022 DNA tests confirm the man’s identity as Alex Batty, reported missing for over 6 years

Theories Over the Years About What Happened to Alex

Over the course of the 6 long years that Alex Batty remained missing since 2017, various theories circulated on what may have possibly happened to him. These ranged from criminal abductions, to the possibility that his mother or grandfather may have abducted him, to the chance he may have been swept into the underworld of human trafficking. Other theories considered whether Alex may have deliberately gone into hiding of his own accord.

Now that Alex has fortuitously been found, a major question will be to uncover just what exactly has happened to him during the past 6 years since his abduction from that Spanish holiday resort back when he was only 12 years old.

Initial reports emerging are that Alex has told French authorities that shortly after his 2017 disappearance in Marbella, his mother Natalia and grandfather had taken him to France where he was left with members of an evangelical religious community. Over the subsequent years, Alex had remained living in various spiritual communes in the French and Spanish countryside.

If accurate, this reported information would match with one of the longstanding theories over the years that perhaps his mother or grandfather had abducted Alex. Though unlikely to be a contentious religious cult, the taking of Alex from his hotel in 2017 and housing him in obscure spiritual communities hidden away in remote European mountains for 6 years was nonetheless still a form of abduction and captivity from his normal home and life.

Now 17 years old, Alex is fortunately back in safe hands with authorities. But unraveling just what happened after his initial hotel disappearance back in the summer of 2017 will be a key next step.

Main Theories Over the Years on Alex Batty’s Disappearance
Abducted by a criminal organisation
Abducted by his mother / grandfather
Swept into human trafficking ring
Deliberately went into hiding / ran away
Living in religious commune / cult

What Happens Next for Alex Batty?

Now that Alex Batty has amazingly been found alive and well after 6 mysteriously missing years, albeit in the entirely unexpected location of southern France, attention now turns to the next steps for Alex.

Police Interview

According to latest reports, Alex is currently with French social services and is being interviewed by French authorities about what exactly happened to him between June 2017 and now. Learning where Alex has been and how he has survived for all this time will be critical.

Return to the UK?

While his mother Natalia still reportedly resides in Spain, most of Alex’s closest known family members live in Britain where Alex originally came from. His family back in the UK, including his aunts Christine and Margaret, have expressed their immense relief and joy at the news that Alex has been found alive and appear eager to reunite with him soon.

Discussions are likely underway about potentially arranging for Alex to return to Britain to reunite with his family members there, as authorities and family try to figure out the best path forward for Alex’s life, health, and education following his 6 lost years. Financial support has been pledged to help support Alex.

Incredibly however, initial reports state that Alex has so far expressed reluctance to coming back to Britain or even contacting his family. After 6 years lived mostly cut off in extremely isolated, rural spiritual communes in Europe, the adjustment to regular modern society is likely to now be very difficult for Alex. The tragic story of his life in isolation remains to be fully uncovered.

Nonetheless, with patience, care, and time, there remains hope Alex can slowly adjust back into normal life and connect back with his loving family in Britain which has been so desperately worried about him for so very long.

Ongoing Questions

Many painful questions also still remain unanswered, such as understanding if certain people closest to Alex deliberately took him in 2017, and why. There will be a lot of complex emotions for all involved as this tragic story continues to unfold.

But for now, the joy and relief at Alex being found takes priority for all those who have waited 6 long and heartbreaking years for news of the missing schoolboy. Welcome back Alex!

Potential Next Steps
Alex will be interviewed by French authorities about what happened to him
Discussions to take place regarding potentially reuniting with family in Britain
Support to be provided to help Alex adjust back into normal modern society
Painful questions still remain over the exact circumstances of Alex’s disappearance


The miraculous finding of Alex Batty this week in France has electrified the public and brought immense hope and relief to a family left confused and devastated by their missing son and nephew for 6 long and painful years.

While questions certainly remain about what exactly happened to Alex since that fateful day in 2017 when he mysteriously vanished from a quiet Marbella hotel as a 12 year old boy, for now the priority is Alex’s health, safety and future life.

Traumatized from 6 years lived in seclusion and obscurity, potentially abducted, Alex will undoubtedly have major challenges ahead to readjust to normal life. But he will now receive support from a network of extended family and childcare authorities determined to give Alex his life back.

Alex Batty’s name can now be removed from the missing person lists; a lost boy has been found. Let his next chapter shine bright with promise.




AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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