Alone and starving, baby's three nights on remote hillside

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The Independent Online
THE BABY who was rescued from a mountainside after going missing with his grandfather may have spent three nights alone in the remote spot alongside his dead relative, it emerged yesterday.

Liam Evans, aged 13 months, was in "remarkable condition", doctors said, but could not have lasted much longer without food or drink.

Ruth Evans, Liam's mother, cuddled him yesterday as she told how the family feared that they might never see him again. But she said the relief was coloured with sadness that Liam's grandfather, Gwilym, 61, was dead.

Mr Evans's wrecked car was spotted on Sunday where it had left the road near the Horseshoe Pass in North Wales, three days after he offered to look after the little boy for a short period and then disappeared.

As police tried to piece together Mr Evans's last moments before the crash, Liam was discharged from Glan Clwyd Hospital near Abergele.

Speaking for the first time since her son was found, Mrs Evans, 28, said: "He was bewildered. He was very, very dirty and he was a bit unsure of what was going on. He just wanted a hug from everybody."

On Sunday, family members had endured "one of the lowest points" when they thought Liam might be dead, she added.

"We went through every emotion possible. There was hope and despair. But now we just want to get him home and be with the rest of the family and enjoy it, but also grieve."

Liam was found on a hillside 40 miles from his home in Old Colwyn by a 10-year-old boy, Matthew Williams.

Dr Duncan Cameron, the consultant paediatrician who tended Liam, said he was doing remarkably well, considering what he had suffered. He showed signs of exposure and was grubby and distressed, but had been wide awake.

"It remains uncertain how long he has been out. He clearly shows signs of being out in the open and there were signs of dehydration," the doctor said. "His condition is possibly consistent with it being two to three days, but we can't be precise.

"He must be a very tough kid. There were just a few cuts and scratches where he had been scrambling around in the heather," Dr Cameron said.

Liam was so healthy he could probably have survived a while longer, but a child enduring a fourth or fifth day without food or drink would become sick, he said.

Although the boy would have been aware of his ordeal, Dr Cameron said he would probably recover psychologically quickly because of his young age.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Evans died from a fractured skull that could have been caused by a road accident some time between Thursday night and Friday.

Detective Superintendent Eric Jones said Liam appeared to have been left unscathed by the crash after the car careered 150 yards down the slope and stopped on the edge of a 200ft precipice.

His survival was "a freak of nature", Det Supt Jones said. "Somebody must have been looking after Liam."

The police are still treating the crash as an accident.

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