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15th May 2024

Man who vanished almost 30 years ago found in neighbours basement

Charlie Herbert

He was found ‘in a hole in a sheep’s pen’

A man who went missing when he was aged 17 following an alleged kidnapping has been found alive in his neighbour’s house almost three decades later.

Named as Omar Bin Omran, the man went missing in the city of Djelfa, Algeria, 27 years ago.

One of nine children, his family had assumed he had been killed in the Algerian civil war, which ran from December 1991 to February 2002.

But on May 12, he was found in a neighbour’s home, in a hole underneath stacks of hay in a sheep’s pen.

The 45-year-old was less than 200 metres from his own family’s home, the Daily Mail reports.

A 61-year-old is in police custody, on suspicion of having kept Omran captive, public prosecutors said in a statement.

Footage on social media and local television networks captured the moment he was found. Authorities said he had been found in a hole in the ground in what they described as a sheep pen.

Footage from the rescue showed a bearded Omran wearing a sweater being rescued from the basement below the hay-covered floor.

“The Djelfa Attorney General’s Office informs the public that on 12 May at 8pm local time it found victim Omar B, aged 45, in the case of his neighbour, BA, aged 61,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Omran’s family reportedly tipped off law enforcement officials after the suspect’s brother suggested on social media that his sibling was involved in an abduction.

The authorities re-opened the investigation and searched the man’s house until they discovered a trapdoor hidden under some hay.

Once found, Omran was rushed to a medical centre for treatment, the Independent reports.

Omar was 17 when he disappeared (EnnaharTv)

Along with the abduction of Omran, the suspect is accused of killing the man’s dog because it kept lurking around the house for a month after the teenager’s disappearance.

The dog’s body was found in front of Mr Omran’s family house, local media reported.

Mr Omran’s mother died in 2013.

“His poor mum died while he was in captivity, without knowing what had happened to him, without knowing that all this time he was really right beside her,” a neighbour told Algerian broadcaster Bilad.

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