Owners of holiday home 'kidnapped' Alex Batty stayed in say he was 'eager to get back to normal life' | The Sun

THE owners of the French cottage where Alex Batty was staying before returning to the UK said the boy was "eager to get back to a normal life".

Frederic Hambye and Ingrid Beauve are said to have taken the Brit teen under their wing, treating him as a member of their own family.

The boy would be taken on outings throughout the summer, including cycling on railway lines and trips to the beach and the river.

He would also have "free access" to the couple's fridge, "unlimited" internet access, and liked cooking and helping out in the garden.

Alex would sometimes stay with them for weeks or months, but would also visit his mother at whichever 'community' she was living with in the distant Aude and Ariege districts of the Pyrenees at the time.

Earlier this month, Alex told his French hosts he was returning to the UK to get the identity documents he needed to enrol in a local school to study computer science, MailOnline reported.

Read more about Alex Batty


How mum and grandad's 'off-grid' beliefs led Alex Batty to French commune


France plans to fight cults after 'spiritual community' involved in Batty case

He also said he no longer had his ID.

But the owners of Gîte de la Bastide had no idea about the boy's alleged abduction plot until reading news reports when he was rescued on Wednesday.

In a caring statement, the couple aid that they just wanted the best for the British boy and treated him as a part of their family.

“He was eager to go to school and get back to a normal life and for that, he needed his ID, which he told us he no longer had," they said.

Most read in The Sun


Ian Wright announces he is QUITTING Match of the Day after 27yrs as pundit


Kate Garraway’s husband Derek fighting for his life after huge heart attack


When Ashley Cain dumped me it was quick and brutal, says TV star’s ex


Ashley Cain asked for another baby and then got a woman pregnant, says his ex

“When we learned that he did not have an ID, we offered to drive him to the British Consulate.

“He told us that he would find a way to return to the UK on his own to get new papers and go back to school.

“To this end, he told us, he left on Sunday, December 10, to join his mother.

“We reiterated to him that he would always be welcome and that if needed, we were there to help him

“The rest, as well as its real name and full story, we discovered in the press at the beginning of this week. We wish him the best of luck.”

The Brit trio first arrived in late 2021 before Alex’s mum Melanie, 43, went off to live in a spiritual community travelling within the Ariege and Aude region.

Greater Manchester Police are understood to be working with European agency Interpol to find her after Alex claimed she's moved to Finland to see the Northern Lights.

An investigating source in Toulouse said: "The boy claims that his mother has gone to Finland to see the Northern Lights, so the search for her is continuing across Europe.

"This does not mean that the search has stopped in France – she has been placed here regularly over the years, and may well still be hiding in the countryside.

"All kinds of information is circulating, and a lot of it does not add up.

"If she did travel to Finland, then she would absolutely have needed a passport. This would make tracing her journey relatively easy."

Alex, who went by the name Zach, left the gite several times to stay with his mother and they would often meet at the Sunday market where he regularly bought a tuna baguette.

He “loved to cook”, according to the owners of the gite, and would buy produce there to make beef stew, chocolate cake, pasta bolognese and vegetarian dishes.

Fred and Ingrid claimed Alex was “careful and keen to participate in the life of the Gîte”.

They continued in their statement: “He was also part of our family and had good relations with our kids. We enjoyed time together in the summer, like cycling on rails, visiting the beach and the river.

“The last time Zach/Alex came back to us was at the beginning of this summer.

"As time went on, we saw him as part of our family and we think he appreciated the stability and security we represent for him.

"He had a room to himself, unlimited internet access and was completely free to come and go as he pleased.

“We were keen to help him (although we didn't have parental authority since his family was in the area) and we encouraged him to learn French and study.

"In particular, we helped him find a school where he could be admitted without prior education. He showed a certain aptitude for computers.”

Read more on The Sun


I lost £635 by selling an iPhone on eBay after buyer claimed device was fake


Asda trick to get discounts revealed as customer bags £10 of shopping for 10p

Alex is now finally reunited with his family after landing in the UK last night – six years after his mum and granddad allegedly kidnapped him while on holiday in Spain.

He met his stepfather at France's Toulouse Blagnac airport on Saturday afternoon, flying via Amsterdam before touching down in Manchester later in the evening.

Source: Read Full Article