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Music in the mystery: Alex Batty's mother left behind red guitar and didgeridoo before vanishing from French campsite
19 December 2023, 13:51 | Updated: 19 December 2023, 13:55
Alex Batty's mother, Melanie Batty, has seemingly 'vanished' - but left her belongings in an isolated French holiday site, two of which include the musical instruments.
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Melanie Batty, 43, had lived in an American-style caravan by the banks of the Lac de Montbel lake since May, but could have escaped "to Finland to see the Northern Lights".
However, French authorities say that this "seems unlikely".
The owner of La Forte campsite had never seen Alex, now 17, but reported that Ms Batty, or Rose, disappeared at the end of September, leaving behind her didgeridoo and red guitar.
Also in the caravan is a cream desk chair, a simple brown sofa bed, and cabinets.
It is understood that Ms Batty did not converse with anyone else on the campsite and that her background was a mystery to the others residing there.
Alex’s grandmother, Susan Caruana, said that Melanie became caught up with David’s new lifestyle and she got involved with a cult.
Expat Susie Harrison, who knows Melanie from a local market in the Pyrenees, told MailOnline: "Rose is a conspiracy theorist. She believes that Covid-19 was not real, that it was created by the state to control people.
"She really wanted to set up a spiritual community here in the south of France… a special group of like-minded people."
Alex flew home to the UK to be reunited with his grandmother in Oldham after six years away, having been taken out of the country by his mother and grandfather when he was 11.
‘Abducted’ teenager Alex Batty has video call with grandmother after being found, police say
Melanie and David were not allowed to be with Alex at the time due to "domestic difficulties".
Alex was found in the Pyrenees in the south of France, picked up by a driver and taken to French authorities.
From there his identity was verified and he was flown home to the UK on Saturday evening.
The driver, medical student Fabien Accidin, found the teenager walking in the rain.
After coming back to the UK, Alex broke his silence on Monday.
Speaking outside a relative’s home, Alex said: "I’m glad to be home for Christmas."
While Greater Manchester Police is yet to establish whether it will open a criminal investigation, it is understood Interpol is looking for Ms Batty.
Although it was originally thought Alex’s grandfather, David, was dead, a French source told the Sun: "There is every possibility that Alex’s grandfather, David Batty, is still alive."
The teenager reportedly told French cops his grandfather had died, but police are considering "all possibilities".