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Missing 12-year-old found, uncle held for questioning

© Belga

Twelve-year-old Ilias, the boy who went missing three days ago, was found by police on Sunday in the Walloon commune of Steenkerque (Braine-le-Comte, Hainaut).

Ilias went missing on Thursday morning after leaving home on his bicycle bound for school in Edegem. However, he never arrived there.

The boy, who was found in the company of his uncle, has been reunited with his family in Mortsel.

The 26-year-old uncle has been held on suspicion of kidnapping with violence, under threat or by trickery, the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP) in Antwerp said. He is to appear before an investigating judge later on Sunday or on Monday.

Local police attempted to contact the child’s uncle on Sunday, not as a suspect but to obtain more information in connection with his disappearance. Towards noon, Ilias was found in good health in Steenkerque, while cycling with his uncle.

“We immediately viewed the disappearance as worrying,” said Lieselotte Claessens of OPP-Antwerp. An investigating judge was designated on Friday, while the police pursued their efforts to find him, finally succeeding in doing so on Sunday.

The Brussels Times