The mother of British teenager Alex Batty, who was believed to have been abducted six years ago, may be in Finland and his grandfather has died, prosecutors have said.
Alex disappeared with Melanie and David Batty in 2017 but is expected to return to the UK over the weekend.
Toulouse Assistant Public Prosecutor Antoine Leroy told reporters he knew the life he was having with his mother “had to stop” after she announced intentions to move to Finland.
Addressing the whereabouts of Alex’s mother and grandfather, Mr Leroy said: “It is possible that the mother at this time has in fact gone to Finland as she planned.
“The grandfather, who has always been with his daughter and grandson, is said to have died approximately six months ago.”
Mr Leroy said Alex took part in a “meditation ceremony” when his grandfather died.
Alex, who is now 17, had gone on a family holiday to Spain on September 30 of that year and is believed to have been abducted by his 43-year-old mother to live an “alternative” lifestyle abroad.
Greater Manchester Police said he is being “well cared for” by French authorities.
The teenager was found near the French city of Toulouse on Wednesday and taken to a police station in the village of Revel by chiropody student Fabien Accidini.
Addressing what the teenager had said about leaving his mother, Mr Leroy said: “When his mother indicated that she was going to leave with him to Finland, this young man understood that this had to stop.
“So he then decided to leave the place where he was with his mother and he went walking for four days and four nights.
“He was exclusively walking at night and sleeping in the day.”
Continuing to describe how Alex had been living over the past six years, Mr Leroy said: “They would work on the ego, there was meditation work – there was no connection with the real world.
“They believed in reincarnation.”
Speaking about Alex’s condition when he was checked over by officials, Mr Leroy added: “This young man was described by the police who have seen him and by the doctors who examined him as ‘tired’ but overall in good health.
“He’s said to be intelligent even though he’s never been to school in this entire period.”
The prosecutor said Ms Batty also has a “fear of solar panels”, as he spoke of the “spiritual” community Alex had left behind.
He continued: “He doesn’t describe any kind of physical violence, without talking about emotional violence.
“We can’t use the term ‘sect’ as such but he talks of a spiritual community.”
Mr Leroy added: “The mother experienced a sort of fear of solar panels, so they were travelling from house to house with solar panels.
“They only used car-sharing, they didn’t have their own vehicle.”
Mr Leroy added: “What I’m describing is what happened in Morocco, in Spain and in France – it was always the same way of living.”
On Thursday evening, the teenager had a video call with his grandmother Susan Caruana, who was “content” he was her grandson.
In a press conference on Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes told reporters: “From what I have seen from the officers that have spoken to the grandmother, she has a whole host of emotions and feelings as you could imagine.
“The French authorities have been looking after Alex really, really well.
“Our real concern is how we bring Alex back to the UK in a safe way and make sure we look after his wellbeing.”
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