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A teenager who disappeared 26 years ago was rescued from a neighbor’s cellar, just 200 meters from his home in Algeria


05/15: CBS Evening News

7:46 p.m.

An Algerian man missing for 26 years was found in his neighbor’s house, a few minutes’ walk away, the country’s Justice Ministry announced this week.

The man identified only as Omar B. had disappeared at age 19 during the Algerian civil war in 1998, and his family believed he had been kidnapped or killed.

Now aged 45, he was found among haystacks just 200 meters away in the town of Djelfa after the kidnapper’s brother aired his grievances on social media, apparently due to an inheritance dispute.

Algerian media reported that when family members began searching the suspect’s house, the suspect became tense when they approached a bale of hay, and they eventually found Omar B. “sitting quietly” below.

The alleged culprit, a 61-year-old doorman from the municipality of El Guedid, was taken into custody after trying to flee, the ministry said.

Algerian media reported that the victim said she was unable to call for help “because of a spell her captor cast on her.”

The teenager’s alleged kidnapper was also accused of killing his dog with poison, according to Algerian media, which published a photo of the dog with the victim the year he disappeared.

The ministry said the investigation was still ongoing, adding that the victim was receiving medical and psychological treatment after the crime, which it described as “heinous.”

Algerian media report that the victim was examined by a doctor and transferred to a specialized psychological health service.

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