The grandmother of Alex Batty, the Oldham boy who was found in southern France this week after being missing for six years, has spoken out.

Speaking to The Sun, Susan Caruana 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.”

Update (December 15): GMP has told a press conference Alex will be returning to the UK within 'days'.

Meanwhile, Ben Ellery of The Times said on X, formerly known as Twitter: "Alex Batty’s grandmother told The Times she spoke to him on the phone an hour ago and it’s definitely him: 'I was speaking to a boy when he was with us and now I’m speaking to a man. It’s quite unbelievable when you don’t know if somebody’s dead or alive.'"

Alex Batty went missing at the age of 11 after going on holiday to Spain with his mother and grandfather, Melanie and David Batty.

They were due to fly home on October 8, 2017, but never returned. Ms Caruana was his legal guardian.

Now, more than six years after he was last seen in the UK, reports from France have said that Alex may have been found yesterday (Wednesday, December 13) and that his identity has been confirmed by the public prosecutor of Toulouse.

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French police said the teenager is “well and providing information”, according to reports.

According to the driver who found Alex, who spoke to French newspaper La Depeche, the teenager had been living with a “spiritual” community in Spain before arriving in France in 2021.

The Oldham Times: Alex Batty was last seen in 2017

It is understood the teenager, who was 11 when he disappeared, was spotted by a member of the public near the French city of Toulouse on Wednesday and taken to a police station.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it is "supporting a British national in France and are in contact with local authorities", while Greater Manchester Police also said it is in contact with local authorities.

A spokesperson said: "This is a complex and long-running investigation, and we need to make further enquiries as well as putting appropriate safeguarding measures in place."

Detectives believed Alex was abducted by his mother Melanie Batty to live an “alternative” lifestyle abroad.

His mother and grandfather remain wanted in connection with Alex’s disappearance.

Ms Caruana said in a plea several years ago that her daughter and ex-husband lived in a commune in Morocco with Alex in 2014 as part of an “alternative lifestyle”, which she thought lay behind the youngster’s disappearance.