“Nobody noticed”: 9-year-old lived alone for 2 years, fed himself, and kept good grades

A heart-wrenching story unfolded in southwestern France, where a 9-year-old boy was abandoned by his mother and left to fend for himself in their apartment for two long years. Despite the challenges he faced, this resilient young boy showed incredible resourcefulness and determination. Living without the basic necessities of electricity and heat, he managed to keep his life going against all odds. He even continued to attend school, unnoticed by both his teachers and classmates, who considered him a good student. During this time, kindhearted neighbors occasionally brought him food, unaware of the difficult circumstances he was facing. He survived on canned food, cake, and even tomatoes he picked from a neighbor’s balcony. Nights were particularly harsh, as he relied on multiple layers of comforters to keep warm without proper heating. Cold water became a regular part of his daily routine.

Ironically, his mother lived in a nearby community, a mere 5 km away from her son. However, she rarely visited him or provided for his well-being. It is unclear what role the boy’s father had in his life, as he seemed entirely absent. Months passed before the observant neighbors realized the boy’s solitary existence and contacted the authorities. Even the mayor of the community confessed that it would have been challenging for anyone to detect the situation. The boy’s appearance and academic performance created a protective shield, giving the impression that everything was normal. One neighbor reported that the mother was verbally abusive to her son, with regular bouts of swearing. It was during the court hearing that the truth came to light. Phone records were presented, revealing that the mother was not living with her son and that he managed his own schooling and studies. Despite her denial, the neighbors confirmed that the boy was indeed living alone. The court prosecuted the mother for child abandonment and neglecting her son’s safety. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with an additional six months of wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Yet, the boy’s teenage years are now upon him, and he has expressed that he wants no further contact with his mother, who has only visited him once since he has been in foster care. This heart-wrenching tale emphasizes the incredible resilience and strength shown by this young boy. His determination to survive and continue his education despite his challenging circumstances is truly remarkable. Let us hope that he finds the love and support he deserves in his new life.