Mystery as missing boy, 8, is found in sewer a WEEK after vanishing from his parents’ front yard | The Sun

A CHILD who had been missing for a week was bizarrely discovered in a sewer after a passerby heard a faint noise coming from the ground.

Joe, eight, vanished from his parents' front yard in the city of Oldenburg, Germany, on June 17 and a huge search was launched across the country.

But the youngster was nowhere to be found as emergency services and his loved ones hunted around the clock.

In the early hours of June 25 – more than a week after Joe went missing – a passerby called cops after hearing a "faint whimpering sound" coming from a sewer.

Rescue crews dashed to the scene, some 20m from the family home in the Donnerschwee district.

To their shock, they found the child in the sewer after lifting the manhole cover and a firefighter was winched down to pull him out.

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An eyewitness told local media: "I saw how the boy was carefully pulled out of the hole, a helper calmed him down.

"I didn't know it was Joe. He looked unharmed. I can't believe he was in there and alive!"

And an unnamed neighbour added: "A rescuer calmed the child down. He looked unharmed.

"It was very fortunate that he was heard – a lot of cars pass through here and the noise level is higher there."

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Joe was rushed to hospital, where he is now recovering from his ordeal.

Police spokesman Stephan Klatte said: "The boy was hypothermic, but responsive.

"He has no major injuries, there was no danger to his life."

Police are still investigating how it was possible for Joe, who reportedly suffers from a slight mental development disorder, to survive for so long down the storm drain.

Klatte added: "Our job is to find out how Joe got into the sewer hole."

Retired emergency doctor Peter Sefrin, 81, told local media: "At these temperatures, the heat is an important factor.

"But in the canal, it is naturally cooler. Humans can survive a good three days without water and food. That's no problem."

He added: "We know that people who were buried survived in caves from dripping condensation water. Maybe that was the case here too."

Police are examining the storm drain sewer system in the area in a bid to determine how the boy survived and how he became stuck in there.

Police chief Johann Kuehme said search efforts had included local hunting associations as well as other privately organised search parties

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They said: "Thanks to a tip from the public, we were able to find Joe in a sewer system.

"The most important thing is that he is alive and was immediately taken to a hospital where he is in good hands. We can all breathe a sigh of relief."

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