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Boy, 8, found alive in rainwater sewer eight days after going missing

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By AP  with Euronews
A large-scale police search was launched after the boy went missing on June 17.
A large-scale police search was launched after the boy went missing on June 17.   -   Copyright  Polizei Oldenburg-Stadt/Ammerland via Twitter.

German police have ruled out foul play after a missing eight-year-old boy was found alive in a rainwater sewer.

The handicapped boy -- named Joe -- was found under a manhole cover in northern Germany, more than a week after going missing.

He had disappeared from his garden on June 17 in the town of Oldenburg, and search parties had spent days looking for him in vain.

A pedestrian then heard whimpering from beneath a manhole cover about 300 metres from the boy's home on June 25.

Rescuers found the boy naked, chilled and dehydrated inside the sewer, but otherwise unharmed. His clothes were later found elsewhere in the sewer.

In a statement on Tuesday, Oldenburg police said that their investigation concluded the boy had likely climbed into a drainage pipe near his home and then got lost inside the narrow tunnels.

Previous alleged sightings of the boy outside the tunnels or in the company of an adult are now deemed to have been mistaken.

The boy, who remains in hospital, has not yet been questioned by officers, police said.