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Teen who vanished 26 years ago rescued from neighbor's cellar — just 200 yards from his home in Algeria

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An Algerian man who had been missing for 26 years has been found in his neighbor's house, just a few minutes' walk away, the country's justice ministry said this week. 

The man only identified as Omar B. had vanished at the age of 19 during the Algerian Civil War in 1998, and his family assumed he had been kidnapped or killed.

Now aged 45, he was found amid haystacks only about 200 yards away in the city of Djelfa after the captor's brother aired grievances on social media, reportedly due to an inheritance dispute.

Algerian media reported that when family members began searching the suspect's house, he became tense when they approached a haystack, and they eventually found Omar B. "sitting quietly" underneath.

The alleged culprit, a 61-year-old doorman at the municipality in the nearby town of El Guedid, was taken into custody after attempting to flee, the ministry said.

Algerian media reported that the victim said he had been unable to call out for help "because of a spell that his captor had cast on him."

The teen's alleged abductor has also been accused of killing his dog with poison, according to Algerian media, which published a photo of the dog with the victim the year he went missing.

The ministry said the investigation was still ongoing, adding that the victim was receiving medical and psychological care after the crime it described as "heinous."

Algerian media reported that the victim was examined by a doctor and transferred to a special psychological health ward.

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