Search icon


15th Dec 2023

Delivery driver who found British boy who went missing six years ago speaks out

Charlie Herbert

Delivery driver who found alex batty

A delivery driver who found teen Alex Batty after he had been missing for six years has recalled the first conversation the Brit.

On Thursday, French authorities said that a 17-year-old answering to the name of Alex Batty, from Oldham, had handed himself at a police station near Toulouse.

The boy had gone missing in Spain back in 2017 after going there on holiday with his mum and grandfather, neither of whom were his legal guardian.

When none of the family returned home from the holiday in Marbella, police opened an investigation.

According to reports, Alex handed himself into police in Revel, near Toulouse, after ‘escaping a spiritual rural community’ in the Pyrenees. He had been walking for four days before he was picked up by Fabien Accidini.

Alex Batty went missing in 2017 after travelling to Marbella with his mum and grandad (Greater Manchester Police)

Chiropractic care student Accidini was doing night deliveries for local pharmacies in the area when he came across Alex.

The 26-year-old told ITV that he spotted the teen wandering around the area, and that he looked “confused” and “tired.”

He told the broadcaster: “We talked, we finished the pharmacy’s tour together because I was working. He told me that he was walking for four days since he left the mountains, he didn’t know really know where from nor where to.”

Fabien recalled that Alex had told him he had been in France for two years after three years in Spain.

Alex apparently told him he had been ‘in a community, let’s say something to do with spirituality, that he didn’t feel comfortable with’.”

After he told Fabien his story and who he was, the Frenchman “typed his name into the internet and saw that he was being looked for.”

He called the police who picked the pair up and took them to the police station.

Fabien continued: “They came to pick us up and that’s when I really understood what was going on – I mean his story. I don’t think he had any water left because he was thirsty.

“But apart from that he was feeling alright, he was very tired. When we arrived at the police station, once he finished talking, he lay down on the floor, and was sleeping on his back.”

Fabien also let Alex use his Facebook account to contact his grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana, the BBC reports.

Fabien was doing night deliveries for local pharmacies in the area when he came across Alex (ITV News)

He wrote: “Hello Grandma, it’s me Alex. I’m in France Toulouse. I really hope that you receive this message. I love you, I want to come home.”

Speaking to the Sun about her grandson being found alive, Susan said: “I am so happy. I have spoken to him and he is well. He is currently with the authorities in France. It is such a shock.

“I don’t know where his mum is. It is great news. I am just waiting for him to come home – I am thrilled.”

Following his disappearance in 2017, Caruana said Alex’s mum and grandad had taken Alex to live an “alternative lifestyle” with him in a spiritual community in Morocco,

She said: “They didn’t want [Alex] to go to school, they don’t believe in mainstream school.”

The pair are both still wanted by police.

Caruana is too frail to travel to France to meet him, but a team of British police officers and consular staff are expected to pick Alex up and bring him back to the UK as early as Friday.

Related links: