A British teenager who disappeared for six years before turning up in France earlier this month is finally breaking his silence.
Alex Paty first disappeared during a 2017 holiday trip to Spain with his mother and grandfather when he was 11 years old. Last week, authorities in France said Paty, now 17, appeared on a rainy French road in the middle of the night.
The delivery driver picked up Patty and brought him to the French police after searching the boy's name online and realizing he had been missing for nearly six years.
Now, Batty is speaking out publicly for the first time, describing his last six years and why he left during an interview with a UK tabloid newspaper. the sun.
“I was lying to try to protect my mother and grandfather, but I realized they would probably get caught anyway,” he said. the sun. “I wasn't lost. I knew exactly where I was going.”
Greater Manchester Police said a permit Patty's mother, Mekani Patty, 43, and grandfather David Patty, 64, did not have legal custody of him when he disappeared in 2017.
Police said authorities were “relieved and happy” to find Paty after more than half a decade of searching for him across Europe. The 17-year-old spoke to his grandmother on the phone at the police station and told her about this the sun This week he now lives with her in Oldham, northern England.
Paty told French authorities last week that he decided to flee his family in 2017 after learning that his mother was planning to move them to Finland, according to the British Daily Mail. Associated Press.
said the boy the sun This week he got tired of moving around Europe with his mother and that he “realized that staying with her is not a great way to live for my future.” He also expressed resentment towards his mother for what he described as her “anti-government and anti-vaccine” views.
“She's a great person and I love her, but she's not a great mother,” Patty said of his mother.
Describing the reason for his escape, Patty added: “I had a fight with my mother and I thought I would leave because I could not live with her.”
Patty had told police that he lived in a “spiritual community” and rarely stayed in the same place for more than a few months, according to the AP.
“He was never locked up,” French prosecutor Antoine Leroy said at a news conference after Paty was found. “But he was always forced to live in these conditions.”
Greater Manchester Police said its “main priority now is to see Alex returned to his family in the UK.”
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said in a statement: “Alex and his family remain the focus of our attention. We still have some work to do to establish the full circumstances surrounding his disappearance and whereabouts.”
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