He Was Kidnapped as a Teenager 26 Years Ago. He'd Been Within Sight of His Family's Home the Whole Time: Reports

Omar Bin Omran, now 45, was hidden underneath a haystack in his neighbor's home when he was rescued, according to Algerian media reports



An Algerian man who went missing as a teenager in 1998 has been found within sight of his family’s home after authorities allege he was being held for 26 years by his neighbor.

Omar Bin Omran, now 45, was rescued from his neighbor's home in a city in northern Algeria this month, the BBC and AFP reported.

He was found hidden in a haystack in his neighbor's home in El Guedid about 650 feet away from his family’s home in the same town, according to authorities, BBC, AFP and local newspaper El Khabar reported.

The BBC reported, citing authorities, that Omran was rescued on May 12.

Authorities say they arrested a 61-year-old man in connection with the alleged kidnapping, per the BBC.

Omran disappeared from the Djelfa province during the Algerian civil war, prompting his family to believe he was a casualty in the war, El Khabar reported.

Over the years, his mother remained convinced that he was alive and close to her, the outlet reported. She passed away in 2013 without any information about his whereabouts.

Following his disappearance, Omran’s dog would often hover around the alleged kidnapper’s house, El Khabar and AFP reported, until one day the dog was found allegedly poisoned in front of Omran’s family’s home.

After nearly three decades, a social media post by someone familiar to the suspect alleged he had been holding Omran captive near the Omrans' home, per El Khabar and TSA, an Algerian online news outlet.

The social media post was reported to the national police and Omran’s loved ones began connecting the dots that led them to the suspect, El Khabar reported.

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The suspect reportedly appeared calm and collected when Omran’s relatives went to his home to search, per El Khabar. As soon as the searchers noticed movement in the haystack and began uncovering it, the suspect allegedly tried to flee before he was apprehended by police, per the outlet.

Omran reportedly recognized many of those rescuing him and claimed he would see and hear them through an opening in his shelter but was unable to call for help, per El Khabar and AFP. Based on things he saw and heard, Omran was aware of his mother's death, per AFP.

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