The mother of a boy who’d gone missing three years ago can breathe earlier now, as the 15-year-old was found alive in the home of a German man during a child pornography raid. Manuela Bock had been searching for her son since 2017, when he left a halfway house in Druisburg where he was staying, never to be seen again. Despite regularly keeping his name and face in the public eye and maintaining hope that the boy was alive, it took 922 days for the teen to be found, the New York Times reports.
POLICE ARRESTED A 44-YEAR-OLD MAN ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES.
The man, from Recklinghausen, was arrested and charged with disseminating child pornography as well as further unspecified sex crimes believed to be extremely serious. To catch him in the act, the police raided his home, only to find the missing boy hiding in one of the closets. “It was a 15-year-old who had been missing for a long time,” the police said in a statement.
BOCK NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED WHAT IT WOULD FEEL LIKE TO BE REUNITED WITH HER SON.
While she always hoped he would be found alive and well, the experience of it actually happening was completely different than she imagined, unsurprisingly. “For two and a half years I imagined what it would be like to see him again,” she explained in an interview with newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “But it wasn’t as I imagined. It was crazy! You can’t speak, you just want to take your child with you.”
SHE BARELY RECOGNIZED THE BOY SHE ONCE KNEW.
It was determined that the teen had spent his entire time missing in the man’s apartment and hadn’t been outside once, as he told his mother. “I was shocked. He seemed to me like a broken old man,” Bock said. It’s understood that he was in the care of psychologists who hadn’t yet determined when he could return home, and that he’d previously been living in the halfway house as he’d been exhibiting behavioral issues related to the death of his father prior to his disappearance.
IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME, BUT BOCK REMAINS HOPEFUL SHE’LL GET HER SON BACK.
“It is so difficult for me,” Bock admitted to Bild. “We now need to take one step at a time. He needs to work through his experiences of the past two and a half years.”