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Fears grow for abducted boy, 12

No return: Alex has been missing since last year

A YOUNGSTER who is believed to have been abducted by two members of his own family may have ended up in a commune, according to police.

Alex Batty, who is 12 today, is thought to be with his mother and grandfather, neither of whom has guardianship, after the boy went on a pre-arranged holiday to Spain with the pair last year.

Melanie Batty (pictured above), 37, and David Batty (pictured below), 58, flew out with the youngster, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, for a week-long stay in the Benahavis area, near Marbella.

However, they did not come back home as expected on Sunday October 8, and the two adults are now wanted for the boy’s alleged abduction.

Inquiries have revealed they may have tried to sail on the same date from Malaga to Melilla on the Moroccan border.

Alex’s guardian, grandmother Susan Caruana, 62, says her daughter and ex-husband previously lived on a commune in Morocco with the youngster in 2014 as part of an ‘alternative lifestyle’ which she believes lies behind the youngster’s disappearance.

She said: ‘On the Sunday, they were due back in the afternoon and my husband was going to go and pick them up. I got this message on Facebook and it was a YouTube video of the three of them.

‘They all spoke on it and Melanie said the reasons why they had done what they had done.

‘Alex said it was a million times better being with his mum and granddad. Obviously it hurt me a bit but then my other concerns kicked in.

‘The reason I believe they have done this is because basically my lifestyle, my belief systems, are not what they agree with – just simply living day to day, how normal people do.

‘They didn’t want him to go to school, they don’t believe in mainstream school.’

Distraught: Alex’s grandmother fears for his safety

She added: ‘I just want to say to my grandson Alex, I love you so much and please, please just get in contact.

‘We always did something nice with him on his birthday. We’d have a party or go bowling with his friends, his cousins or we’ve gone trampolining.

‘He loved his birthdays and Christmas. I just hope they do something nice with him today.’

Det Sgt Pete Morley told the BBC: ‘We’re really concerned because of some of the alternative beliefs held by Melanie.

‘Alex may not be staying in conditions that are suitable for a child of his age. He could be living in a commune or sleeping on the floor.

‘[There are] really key things Alex may not be receiving such as health care, basic check-ups from a GP, vaccinations, dental care.

‘He’s obviously been withdrawn from education now since the start of October and we’re getting to a stage where we’re really concerned for this absence from education. It’s going to start having a very long-term impact on Alex’s development.’