Police find missing boy tied up in field

Police said today they had found a missing nine-year old boy alive, but tied up and gagged in a field near the town where he went missing.

Police said today they had found a missing nine-year old boy alive, but tied up and gagged in a field near the town where he went missing.

They added that the boy had suffered wounds to the head and had been taken to the hospital. The wounds were not life-threatening, police said.

Authorities had mobilised a massive search late yesterday after his mother went to the police to report her son missing, near a city where two young girls were abducted and killed last month.

The double murders had raised fears that the boy could suffer a similar fate. Police said it was too early to say how the boy was abducted or by whom.

Media reported that a farmer called police after spotting the boy in his field, around 9km (5.6 miles) outside of Verviers, a town just east of Liege and about 125km (80 miles) east of Brussels.

His parents reported him missing after he did not return home, authorities said.

The boy went out to play with a friend yesterday near his mother’s house in Verviers.

Police said 50 officers, a helicopter and search dogs had been used and over 2,000 posters were put up in the region to try and find the boy.

Officials have called the disappearance concerning, raising fears that he could have been abducted, notably after last month’s kidnapping and killing of two stepsisters in the city of Liege.

Police have charged convicted child rapist Abdallah Aid Oud with the girls’ abduction. Oud has been held by police since June 13, but denies any involvement.

He has not been charged with murder, leading some to speculate that the police do not have evidence linking him to the girls’ deaths and the real killer is still at large.

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