Manchester

Alex Batty case: Grandmother 'broken' by boy's disappearance

Melanie, Alex and David Batty Image copyright GMP
Image caption Alex Batty, centre, is thought to be with his mother, Melanie, and grandfather, David

The grandmother of a boy thought to have been abducted to live in a commune in Morocco has been left "broken" by his disappearance.

Alex Batty, of Oldham, has been missing for 18 months after going on holiday with his mother and grandfather who do not have parental guardianship.

Melanie Batty, 38, and David Batty, 59, are wanted over the alleged abduction.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) issued a fresh appeal for information following Alex's 13th birthday.

His grandmother Susan Caruana, Alex's legal guardian, said her daughter had previously taken him to a commune in pursuit of an "alternative lifestyle".

Image copyright Newsquest
Image caption Alex's grandmother Susan Caruana has appealed for his safe return

'Desperate'

Det Con Declan O'Reilly of GMP said: "The safest place for Alex is back home with his grandmother and we need the public's help to find and return him to her.

"She is absolutely desperate for his safe return and when I spoke with her recently she said if there is one thing she could say to Alex it would be for him to please get in touch as his disappearance has left her broken."

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Alex Batty had previously been taken to a commune in Morocco in 2014

Melanie and David Batty left Greater Manchester with Alex for Marbella in Spain on 30 September 2017.

He was last seen at the Port of Malaga on 8 October, the day they were expected to return.

Mrs Caruana said previously that Alex had been taken because her daughter and ex-husband shared a "different belief system".

"They didn't want him to go to school, they don't believe in mainstream school."

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