25.06.2022, Niedersachsen, Oldenburg: Polizisten untersuchen einen Gully. Der seit acht Tagen vermisste Achtjähriger aus Oldenburg ist lebend in einem Gully gefunden worden. Der geistig behinderte Junge namens Joe war am 17. Juni zuletzt gesehen worden. Aktuell wird er in ein Krankenhaus versorgt. Foto: Andre van Elten/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The missing eight-year-old lives in Oldenburg. He was discovered in a gully on Saturday morning, the police said on Twitter: “He is currently being taken to a hospital and cared for there.” The mentally handicapped boy was last seen last Friday (June 17).

The find spot is on the street where the boy’s parents’ house is. On Saturday morning around 6.30 a.m., according to the police, a walker heard quiet crying coming from a gully and immediately informed the police. She was therefore only a few minutes later with the fire brigade and rescue workers on site and freed the boy. The boy appeared unharmed. He was only hypothermic, said a police spokeswoman. How he got into the canal is now being determined.

On Thursday, the police spoke of indications that Joe could have been the victim of a crime. In addition to the special organization that organized the search, a homicide squad was formed.

The boy had disappeared in the Donnerschlee district of Oldenburg, where there used to be barracks. But intensive searches were also carried out in other parts of the university town on the Hunte – with sniffer dogs, drones and helicopters. Villages, lakes and forests in the neighboring district of Ammerland were also searched.

The people in the Lower Saxony university town feared for the boy. Many also went looking on their own – like three people in their 30s who searched a playground and wooded areas in Wehnen on Friday. The small town on the outskirts already belongs to Bad Zwischenahn in the district of Ammerland.

“There is a small child who needs help,” said one of the three. Joe is “a little boy from the neighborhood”, even if he doesn’t know him personally. He and his girlfriend have been on the lookout for the missing person for days on bike tours in the morning and in the evening.