A few days later, the boy from Mortsel in Antwerp Province was found in the company of his uncle in Steenkerque, a village in Hainaut Province. Ilias’ uncle had not informed the boy’s parents that he was with him. The Judge at the trial in Antwerp said that this was abduction.
After Ilias’ disappearance on 17 September 2020 he was caught on CCTV on his bike heading in the opposite direction to his school. His family thought that he might be with his favourite uncle. However, he claimed to be in COVID quarantine in France and to know nothing about Ilias’ disappearance. After this no one was able to contact him by phone.
Three days later Ilias and his Uncle, who is in his 20’s, were found in Steenkerque. The man had taken his nephew on what he claimed was a trip to “a utopian, stress-free society”.
Their trip was well-prepared. The man had bought two bike trailers. He two 500 euro in cash, two gold bars, camping material, an axe, two knives and a bow and arrow with him for the trip.
The man was given a suspended sentence conditional on him receiving treatment for his autism spectrum issues.