The grandmother of an Oldham schoolboy, whose been missing after going on holiday to Spain with his mother and grandad, has made an emotional appeal for his safe return.
Today (Tuesday 13th February) is Alex Batty’s 12th birthday but his grandmother, Susan Batty, hasn’t seen him for more than four months after agreeing to let his mother, Melanie, who doesn’t have parental guardianship of him, to take Alex on holiday to Spain.
On Saturday 30th September they flew to Malaga Airport and stayed in the Benahavis area near Marbella.
Susan Batty says that was the last she heard from Alex: “Alex rang me, they were on the beach, I had a little conversation with him and then I said, ‘You’re definitely coming home on Sunday aren’t you?’ and he said ‘Yes grandma, mum we’re definitely going home on Sunday aren’t we?’ then I heard her in the back ground saying ‘switch the phones off, no more phones calls nothing’ that was the last time I spoke to him.”
The family were due to return to England on Sunday 8th October 2017 but never did.
Extensive police enquiries revealed the family left Benahavis and may have tried to head to Melilla in Morocco from the Port of Malaga on 8th October 2017.
Although Greater Manchester Police say they don’t believe Alex is at risk of immediate harm, they are concerned about his welfare and want to bring him home to his guardian, his grandmother Susan.
She said she knew they weren’t coming back early on in the holiday: “It was clear in the middle of the week that they weren’t going to come back and I phoned the police but they couldn’t do anything because no crime had been committed. I rang them again a day after, maybe a couple of days afterwards, I can’t remember exactly saying ‘they’re not coming back, I know they’re not coming back.”
Alex is described as white, about 5ft, slim, has blond hair and speaks with a northern accent.
His mother Melanie Batty, 37, and his granddad David Batty, 58, are wanted in connection with his abduction and officers are also doing everything they can to trace them. It is believed they are with Alex.
Detective Sergeant Pete Morley, from GMP’s Oldham borough, said: “It’s Alex’s 12th birthday today and instead of being at home with his grandmother and friends, we don’t know where he is.
“Our mission is to find Alex and bring him home but sadly we have had no further sightings of him since 8 October 2017 at the Port of Malaga.
“His grandmother Susan is beside herself with worry. She’s gone from seeing Alex every day to not hearing off him for months. She misses him terribly and is desperate to know he is alright.
“I would implore any of Melanie’s or David’s friends, who might have heard from them, to please contact police immediately. Alex’s friends may have also heard from him.
“I understand this is an emotive situation but ultimately Alex should be at home in Oldham and there are genuine concerns about his welfare. He has been missing out on school and we don’t know how the family are funding their lifestyle abroad.
“Anyone who has any information, no matter how irrelevant you might think it is, I appeal to you to please get in touch.”
People can call police on 0161 856 8972 (+44 161 856 8972 if you are abroad) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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