Missing boy found alive and well, uncle detained on suspicion of abduction

A boy from Mortsel in Antwerp Province that had been missing since Thursday morning has been found alive and well. 12-year-old Illias Chahdi was found at Steenkerque, a village in Hainaut province. The Antwerp Judicial Authorities have confirmed that the youngster is in good health.  His uncle has been detained on suspicion of abduction.

The news that Ilias had been found came shortly after 1pm on Sunday. He was found after police received a tip about his whereabouts on Sunday morning. The person that contacted police said that they thought that they had recognised Ilias. Police searched the area of the reported sighting of the schoolboy and he was found alive and well.

Ilias Chahdi had been missing for over 72 hours. He left his home in Mortsel, near Antwerp at 8:10 am on Thursday. The last time he had been seen was on CCTV footage from cameras at a petrol station in Wilrijk, near Antwerp. He was cycling in the opposite direction of his school in Edegem (Antwerp Province).

The police investigation lead to Ilias’ favourite uncle. The 12-year-old was with his uncle when he was found in Steenkerque (Hainaut) on Sunday afternoon.

The Judicial Authorities told VRT News that "A number of elements in the investigation and searches that were carried out lead to the boy being located”.

The exact circumstances surrounding Ilias Chahdi’s disappearance are currently being investigated. “The uncle has been detained and is currently being questioned. He will appear before an Examining Magistrate later”, the Judicial Authorities told VRT News. 


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