The rescue of little Joe from a manhole in Oldenburg borders on a small miracle. The police are now certain that there was no third-party fault in the case. Still, the little boy went through incredible things.

The search for eight-year-old Joe from Oldenburg kept an entire region in suspense last week. Then last Saturday the redeeming news: The child was found more than a week after his disappearance. A pedestrian heard noises coming from a gully and alerted the police. Emergency services then discovered the little boy undressed in the shaft. He was outwardly unharmed, but dehydrated and hypothermic in a hospital (the star reported).

In the meantime, the police did not rule out a crime and even set up a homicide commission. She continued to investigate the suspicion of a crime even after Joe was discovered and drew her preliminary conclusion this Wednesday: According to this, the investigators rule out third-party fault in the case.

Apparently Joe got lost in the Oldenburg canal system

Clothing was found when robots searched the underground sewer system. These are attributed to Joe. “After evaluating all traces and clues, the officials now assume that Joe crawled through a drain into the rainwater sewer system on the day of his disappearance and lost his orientation there after several meters,” said the police in Oldenburg. There is only about 300 meters as the crow flies between the boy’s place of residence and the place where he was discovered.

By using the robots, the police were able to largely reconstruct the boy’s path through the branched underground labyrinth of tunnels. “From the point of view of the police, it can now be assumed that Joe lost his bearings more and more in the system and could no longer find an exit.” An initial survey of Joe also supports this assumption, it said. “Furthermore, investigators have no indication that Joe could have been outside of this canal system during the eight days.”

The eight-year-old disappeared on Friday (June 17). That same evening, the police launched a first large-scale search. Because the boy has a mental disability, it was feared that he might misinterpret the quest as a game and deliberately hide. In the days that followed, the search operations were continued with immense commitment of people and material, and volunteers also took part. Last Thursday the hope of finding Joe alive seemed to be dwindling. The police expected the worst and set up a homicide commission based on witness testimony. The search was only over last Saturday at 6:22 a.m. and Joe was rescued from the manhole. Police and parents thanked the public for their support.

It is not known how the boy is doing at the moment. Out of consideration for the boy and his family, the police ask that questions about his state of health be refrained from.

Sources: Police Oldenburg-Stadt / Ammerland, news agencies DPA and AFP