‘Kidnapped’ man found after 27 years hidden in neighbour’s cellar

Omar Bin Omran was discovered 27 years after he went missing (Algerian media)
Omar Bin Omran was discovered 27 years after he went missing (Algerian media)

A man who was presumed dead after he was “kidnapped” as a teenager has been found in his neighbour’s cellar 27 years later.

Omar Bin Omran disappeared from his home in Djelfa in Algeria when he was 17 years old and his family assumed he had been killed during a civil war.

But Mr Bin Omran, now 45, was discovered in his 61-year-old neighbour’s cellar on Sunday, the Sun reports.

Shocking footage has emerged of Mr Bin Omran being helped out of the hay-covered cellar where he had allegedly been hidden since 1997 - metres away from his family home.

Reports in Algeria claimed he had been kept under haystacks in a covered well on a sheep farm.

Omar Bin Omran was presumed dead when he was a teenager (Algerian media)
Omar Bin Omran was presumed dead when he was a teenager (Algerian media)

Officials confirmed they arrested the 61-year-old man suspected of keeping the prisoner for 27 years.

Public prosecutors in Djelfa said in a statement: "The Djelfa Attorney General’s Office informs the public that on May 12 at 8pm local time it found victim Omar B, aged 45, in the case of his neighbour, B.A., aged 61."

The suspect is believed to live alone and works as a civil servant.

A neighbour told Algerian TV station Bilad: "His poor mum died while he was in captivity, without knowing what had happened to him, without knowing that all this time he was really right beside her.”

The missing man’s family recalled how his dog used to wait on the doorstep of his alleged kidnapper’s home after he disappeared. But the dog later vanished as well.

The Public Prosecutor's Office received a complaint against an anonymous person claiming that Mr Bin Omran was in the house of one of his neighbours, inside a sheepfold, said a court official in Djelfa.

Unconfirmed local reports alleged Mr Bin Omran’s family was alerted to his whereabouts after the brother of his alleged captor revealed details of the "kidnapping" on social media following an inheritance dispute.

The court official said: "Following this report the General Prosecutor of the Court of Idrisiya in the province of Djelfa ordered the National Gendarmerie to open an in-depth investigation and officers went to the house in question."

He added: "The Public Prosecutor's Office ordered that the victim receive medical and psychological treatment, and the suspect will be presented to the Public Prosecutor's Office immediately after the completion of the investigation."

Officials promised that the "perpetrator of this heinous crime" will be tried with "severity".