Teen Missing Since 1998 Found at His Neighbor's House

Police in Algeria say his neighbor held him captive all this time
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2024 2:35 PM CDT
Teen Missing Since1998 Found at His Neighbor's House
Police in Algeria have arrested the victim's 61-year-old neighbor.   (Getty / PeterHermesFurian)

Out of Algeria comes a story hard to fathom: Police say they have freed a man who was held captive by his neighbor for 26 years, reports Morocco World News. The victim is identified as Omar bin Omran, who disappeared as a 19-year-old from his home in Djelfa, Algeria. His family feared he had been killed in the nation's civil war at the time, but police say he was about 200 yards away the entire time, per CBS News. Authorities say they found him "sitting quietly" in the home's cellar, in a livestock enclosure.

Police say the man's 61-year-old neighbor was apprehended attempting to flee and is now under arrest on suspicion of keeping the younger man prisoner, reports the BBC. Many details remain unclear, but Omran reportedly told investigators he could not escape or call for help because he thought he was under a spell cast by his captor. Police say they began investigating after a tip from the 61-year-old's brother, who was apparently angry over an inheritance dispute. (More Algeria stories.)

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