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9-Year-Old Lived Alone For 2 Years, Fed Himself, And Kept Good Grades
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9-Year-Old Lived Alone For 2 Years, Fed Himself, And Kept Good Grades

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A brave French nine-year-old boy was left to fend for himself for two years after his mother completely abandoned him for years, bringing himself to school and, at times, living without heat or electricity. He survived in complete solitude for two years at his mother’s apartment in Nersac, a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. For now, his identity has remained hidden from the public.

Highlights
  • 9-year-old French boy survived alone for 2 years.
  • Mother abandoned son, living just 5km away.
  • Neighbors unaware but occasionally fed the boy.
  • Child managed school and grades without adults.

The young boy survived all by himself from the age of 9 to 11, between 2020 and 2022, without a single adult noticing his horrific situation. According to the local French outlet Charente Libre, “nobody noticed anything,” even the school, where the boy was reported as being a good pupil.

A nine-year-old boy was left to fend for himself for two years after his mother completely abandoned him

Image credits: Google

The abandoned kid’s neighbors didn’t notice that he had been left by himself, even though they would sometimes bring him food. Local news reported that the lonesome boy would mostly feed himself with cake and cold canned food.

The resilient boy would also reportedly fetch tomatoes from the balcony of a neighbor in his building. Nevertheless, he also spent extended periods without heat or electricity and had been forced to sleep with three duvets. Sometimes, he would even have to wash himself with cold water.  

His mother, who had full custody of the boy, lived five kilometers away from her son in Sireuil, a neighboring commune. According to the French publication Le Parisien, the 39-year-old woman only came to visit her boy from time to time to give him food.

He survived in complete solitude for two years at his mother’s apartment in Nersac, a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France

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Image credits: cottonbro studio

As for the boy’s father, there has been no reported news about his whereabouts, and he is seemingly completely absent from his son’s life, as per Le Parisien. According to France Bleu, the mother had been separated from her son’s father and had decided to leave the apartment where she had been living with her child. 

Neighbors eventually understood after many months that the little boy was living alone and subsequently alerted the police. Barbara Couturier, the mayor of Nersac, also reportedly sounded the alarm to social services.

Couturier told France Bleu: “I challenge anyone who would’ve been able to detect this situation: a clean boy, a good student who was doing his homework. 

“I think it was also a kind of protective shield that he built around himself to say ‘everything is fine.'”

The mother did not take the boy to school. That he did himself, keeping his grades up

Image credits: Caleb Oquendo

Appearing on the French broadcaster BFMTV on Tuesday (January 23), some neighbors revealed how they had witnessed the mother’s threatening behavior, as a person recalled: “We heard her swearing at the children with bad words.”

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The anonymous neighbor added that the boy’s mother would display “unspeakable verbal violence” before continuing: “We wonder why these people have children.” 

As per Closer Magazine, a resident affirmed that she lived in the same building where the neglectful mother was living with her girlfriend. The resident recalled: “We were scrutinized. They stood in front of their house, arms crossed, staring at me.” They added: “I was terrified, in a state of distress telling myself: ‘My God. Help, I want to move.’”

The disgraced woman, whose identity has also remained hidden, was finally prosecuted by the Angoulême court for abandoning a minor and compromising his safety. 

Nobody noticed anything, even the school where the boy was reported to be a good pupil, as he also kept doing his homework despite his situation

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska

During the court hearing, telephonic data was presented and confirmed that the mother did not sleep at the same home as her courageous son. It also revealed that she did not take the boy to school. That he did himself, keeping his grades up.

The mother denied the accusations against her during the investigation, as well as during the court hearing. However, the neighbors confirmed that the child lived alone in the apartment, where the police found an empty fridge and no adult clothing.

On January 16, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison, six of which she will spend wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. 

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The boy, who is now in his teenage years, does not want any contact with his mother, who has visited him only once since he has been rehomed with a foster family.

“You have to admire the boy,” a reader commented

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Andréa Oldereide

Andréa Oldereide

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Hey, my name is Andréa and some people call me "Dré". I hate the nickname Andy. I'm a journalist and I write for the News Team at Bored Panda, which is a recently introduced team. I cover anything that's breaking news or in general news within the world of pop culture and other areas such as science, nature, and more. You'll see me often chase after a source to get an original quote in my articles.

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Andréa Oldereide

Andréa Oldereide

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Hey, my name is Andréa and some people call me "Dré". I hate the nickname Andy. I'm a journalist and I write for the News Team at Bored Panda, which is a recently introduced team. I cover anything that's breaking news or in general news within the world of pop culture and other areas such as science, nature, and more. You'll see me often chase after a source to get an original quote in my articles.

Donata Leskauskaite

Donata Leskauskaite

Author, BoredPanda staff

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Hey there! I'm a Visual Editor in News team. My responsibility is to ensure that you can read the story not just through text, but also through photos. I get to work with a variety of topics ranging from celebrity drama to mind-blowing Nasa cosmic news. And let me tell you, that's what makes this job an absolute blast! Outside of work, you can find me sweating it out in dance classes or unleashing my creativity by drawing and creating digital paintings of different characters that lives in my head. I also love spending time outdoors and play board games with my friends.

Read less »

Donata Leskauskaite

Donata Leskauskaite

Author, BoredPanda staff

Hey there! I'm a Visual Editor in News team. My responsibility is to ensure that you can read the story not just through text, but also through photos. I get to work with a variety of topics ranging from celebrity drama to mind-blowing Nasa cosmic news. And let me tell you, that's what makes this job an absolute blast! Outside of work, you can find me sweating it out in dance classes or unleashing my creativity by drawing and creating digital paintings of different characters that lives in my head. I also love spending time outdoors and play board games with my friends.

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laura_ketteridge avatar
arthbach
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the comments in the article, Charley said "Most kids could take a leaf out of his book." No, no, and NO! A nine year old needs to learn that they should never be placed in this situation, and if they are, they need to talk with a trusted adult. This might be a neighbour or teacher. Surviving trauma is vastly different from learning life skills.

pandaes avatar
PandaES
BoredPanda Staff
Verified
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"As for the boy’s father, there has been no reported news about his whereabouts, and he is seemingly completely absent from his son’s life" Then he wasn't abandoned just by the mother, the kid was abandoned by BOTH HIS PARENTS.

wj_vaughan avatar
Anyone-for-tea?
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just can’t believe no one noticed he was alone. Did he manage to wash all his clothes, or buy new ones when he grew out of his 7 year old clothes? Surely that would have been a giveaway when everything was too small or dirty?

fakeslashdash6 avatar
Jason Melvil
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not to mention - 2 years and no teacher has seen his parents? Isn't that weird and raises questions?

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laura_ketteridge avatar
arthbach
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the comments in the article, Charley said "Most kids could take a leaf out of his book." No, no, and NO! A nine year old needs to learn that they should never be placed in this situation, and if they are, they need to talk with a trusted adult. This might be a neighbour or teacher. Surviving trauma is vastly different from learning life skills.

pandaes avatar
PandaES
BoredPanda Staff
Verified
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"As for the boy’s father, there has been no reported news about his whereabouts, and he is seemingly completely absent from his son’s life" Then he wasn't abandoned just by the mother, the kid was abandoned by BOTH HIS PARENTS.

wj_vaughan avatar
Anyone-for-tea?
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just can’t believe no one noticed he was alone. Did he manage to wash all his clothes, or buy new ones when he grew out of his 7 year old clothes? Surely that would have been a giveaway when everything was too small or dirty?

fakeslashdash6 avatar
Jason Melvil
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not to mention - 2 years and no teacher has seen his parents? Isn't that weird and raises questions?

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