(CNN) – An 8-year-old boy was found alive in a sewer eight days after his disappearance in the northwestern German city of Oldenburg.
The boy, identified by authorities, was only identified as Joe Missing June 17 noon.
Joe was eventually pulled from the drainage system after hearing noises coming from a manhole cover early Saturday morning and alerting emergency services, Oldenburg police said Tuesday.
Joe was found about 300 meters from his home and taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and dehydration.
Police said they did not believe anyone else was involved in the incident.
An initial police report described Joe as having a learning disability. They said that while the search hunt was going on, the game could have been misread and gone into hiding.
Joe’s last name has not been made public under German privacy laws.
After the rescue, investigators began scouring the drainage system for clues to her disappearance.
Authorities concluded that Joe may have climbed into the concrete drain pipe while playing, then crawled into the drainage system through a channel and got lost after several meters.
Investigators said there were drain manholes and intersections at even intervals between the entrance to the drainage system and where Joe was found.
Joe told police in an initial statement that he could not find a way out because he was stuck in a drainage system.
“We’re very happy … really,” police spokesman Stephen Claude told CNN subsidiary N-TV.
“It’s absolutely lucky, of course, that we did not see the baby there, maybe … if he had not made that noise or heard that noise, we might not have found him there.” Claude added.