7-Year-Old Boy Survives Alone in Unheated Apartment for 2 Years While Mother Lives with Boyfriend in France

Set in a tiny village in the picturesque region of southwestern France, a young boy of merely nine years old displayed remarkable courage and cleverness when left behind by his own mother. He lived alone in a cold room in Nersac, near Angoulême, for two long years, from 2020 to 2022. He didn’t have hot water, heat, or electricity.

The boy’s mother, at the age of 39, decided to move a mere three miles away to live with her boyfriend, leaving her son to take care of himself. Last week, she received a six-month prison sentence for neglecting and putting her child at risk. The father of the boy, who lived in a different town, was not charged.

The kid survived regardless his challenging circumstances. He opted for a refreshing cold water wash and cleverly used sleeping bags and blankets to stay cozy. He resorted to taking tomatoes from a nearby balcony and occasionally sought assistance from his neighbors to find food. Finally, these caring neighbors decided to inform the authorities, leading to the police taking the boy into their custody.

Surprisingly, the boy persevered and continued to attend school despite the challenges he faced. He diligently maintained his personal hygiene, consistently achieved excellent academic results, and always completed his assignments on time. Despite his efforts, his struggles went unnoticed by those around him. The mayor of the town, Barbara Couturier, said the boy put up a defensive walls to make it look like everything was okay. “I think it was also a kind of protection that he put around himself to say ‘everything is fine,’” she explained.

Neighbors had initially noticed something amiss, but their concerns were brushed off by the boy’s mother, who strongly stated that she was taking care of her son and advised them to focus on their own matters. The boy’s self-sufficiency played a crucial role in concealing the neglect for an extended period of time.

A friend said the boy often ate alone, rode the bus by himself, and didn’t go out very often. He liked staying home most of the time. Throughout the trial, the mobile data revealed that the mother had minimal presence at the apartment, effectively denying her claims of living together with her son. He shared with his friends that he enjoyed having his meals and commuting by himself. «He never left the house and spent all his time at home,» the classmate remarked.

Several neighbors expressed regret for not recognizing the seriousness of the boy’s situation earlier. A local resident expressed concern about the lack of community support in modern society, highlighting how neglect can easily go unnoticed. They emphasized the importance of a close-knit family and village, where everyone would look out for each other, especially the well-being of children.

This sad story shows how important community is and how we need to be alert to protect kids who are easily hurt.

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