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Man missing for 26 years found alive in neighbor's home

By Brooke Villanueva Published May 26, 2024 11:34 am

A man who went missing 26 years ago has finally been found alive just 200 meters from his own home.

According to BBC, Omar bin Omran was reported missing in the 1990s in Djelfa at the time when the Algerian civil war was taking place. The conflict was between Algeria's government and Islamist groups, which left around 200,000 dead and 20,000 kidnapped.

He was in his teenage years then and his relatives feared he was among those who were affected by the war. 

But on May 12, after nearly three decades, he was discovered in his neighbor's basement—only hundreds of meters away from his family. He was placed in a sheepfold under haystacks. He's now 45 years old.

BBC reported that it came after the public prosecutor's office was alerted by an anonymous person about what happened to Omran. "Following this report, the general prosecutor ordered the national gendarmerie to open an in-depth investigation and officers went to the house in question," it said.

As stated in the same report, Omran told his rescuers that there were times he was able to catch glimpses of his loved ones from where he was kept, though he was not able to call them "because of a spell that his captor had cast on him."

Citing officials, the news outlet reported that a 61-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the case. He's "suspected of keeping him prisoner" for years. Authorities said the suspect tried to escape but was later on restrained and arrested.

An investigation on the case is still ongoing.