8-Year-Old Boy Missing for 8 Days Found Alive in German Sewer: 'We Can All Breathe a Sigh of Relief'

Police said the child was found chilled and dehydrated, but unharmed under a manhole cover in Oldenburg on Saturday

An 8-year-old boy has been found alive in a German sewer after disappearing eight days prior, according to authorities.

The child, identified by authorities as Joe, was located under a manhole cover in Oldenburg, about 330 yards from his home on Saturday, local police said in a news release, according to the Associated Press. Following a lengthy search, he was found after a witness heard noises coming from the area.

Police said the child, who was found naked, was chilled and dehydrated, but otherwise fine, per the news agency. Afterwards, he was transported to a local hospital.

There he was treated for hypothermia and dehydration, reported CNN.

"We can all breathe a sigh of relief," Police Chief Johann Kuehme said in a statement, per Newsweek, noting that the boy "is in good hands."

Police officers examine a storm drain. The eight-year-old boy from Oldenburg, who has been missing for eight days, has been found alive in a storm drain. The mentally handicapped boy named Joe was last seen on June 17. He is currently being cared for in a hospital.
Andre van Elten/picture alliance via Getty

Joe was reported missing on the evening of June 17, according to CBS News.

Police believe Joe crawled into the rainwater sewer through a drain and then got lost after several meters, the outlet reported.

Damian Bodde controls the movement of a robot through the duct system on monitors. A robot equipped with a camera is supposed to help trace the way Joe could have gotten into the duct system.
Martin Remmers/picture alliance via Getty

In an initial police statement, officials said that the boy had a learning disability and might misunderstand their search efforts as a game, per CNN.

The boy's clothes were later found in the sewer, per the AP.

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Damian Bodde (l) and Marc Meyerholz prepare a robot for use. Eight days after his disappearance, eight-year-old Joe was discovered in a manhole in Oldenburg. A robot equipped with a camera is to help trace the way Joe might have entered the sewer system.
Martin Remmers/picture alliance via Getty

Police said they have yet to get Joe's full story, and hope to do so once he leaves the hospital, the AP reported.

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