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Missing Alex Batty ‘had been staying in French guesthouse without his mother’ | UK News

The owners of a French guesthouse have revealed missing British teenager Alex Batty spent recent years staying with them under a fake name without his mother.

Frederic Hambye and Ingrid Beauve said the teenager first arrived at their traditional gite farmhouse in late 2021 and had stayed with them on-and-off ever since.

The couple said they considered him “part of our family” and disclosed he had recently told them he aimed to return to the UK to go to school and live a normal life.

The revelation is the latest piece of the puzzle in solving the mystery of where Alex has been for the last six years.

He was 11 when went on holiday in 2017 with his mother Melanie Batty – who does not have legal parental guardianship – and his grandfather David Batty but never returned.

Alex, now 17, was found on Wednesday after a delivery driver offered him a lift near Toulouse.

This weekend he was reunited with family back in the UK – thought to include his grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana.

 Fred and Ingrid owners of french farmhouse
Fred and Ingrid, owners of the French farmhouse

On Sunday Mr Hambye and Ms Beauve issued a statement confirming they had taken Alex under their wing in recent years – but that they did not know his true identity and were told his name was “Zach”.

They said the teenager was accompanied by his mother and grandfather when he first came to their guesthouse in Camps-sur-l’Agly, southern France, two years ago.

The couple said his mother did not stay as she was “looking for a place to live” in a spiritual community, but they agreed to give the teenager accommodation in exchange for him doing chores in their garden and kitchen – and noted he “loved to cook”.

“He stayed with us for some longer or shorter periods. He left several times to join his mother in her successive places of residence between Aude and Ariege,” Mr Hambye and Ms Beauve said.

The couple said he was keen to participate in “the life of the gite,” and got on…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-17 16:30:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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