Taken boy with brain tumour could be in Spain: police
A five-year-old British boy with a brain tumour who was taken from hospital by his parents without doctors' consent could now be in Spain, British police said on Saturday.
The police said they had "positive information" to suggest that Ashya King and his family could be in Spain where they have "strong links" to the Marbella area on the south coast.
King's parents, who are Jehovah's Witnesses, drove him away from Southampton hospital in southern England on Thursday and were seen boarding a ferry to Cherbourg in France.
British and French police have been searching for the boy and a French prosecutor said the youngster had effectively been "kidnapped".
Interpol has also launched a missing persons alert following a request from British police, who warned that the batteries on King's feeding system would run out on Friday.
"The need to find Ashya is now desperate. It is really important that we find him and ensure he receives medical attention," said Chris Shead, deputy police chief in Hampshire, the county the boy was taken from.
"We still don't know whether the King family have any spare batteries for the machine which administers food, the knowledge or any way of recharging the battery," Shead said.
"Without properly administered food Ashya's situation is very serious.
"We still urge everyone to please help us find him."
Shead told Sky News television that the family's vehicle was spotted by members of the public on Friday and that was part of the reason police believed they were travelling to Spain.
He told the BBC: "We have no recent sightings, we don't know where they are and we would urge everybody on the continent to remain vigilant."
- Hospital checks -
He said police were checking hospitals in Europe to see whether anyone matching Asha's description could have been admitted under his own name or a false name.
British officers may be sent to France and Spain to help in the search, he added.
The youngster has undergone extensive surgery and was last operated on eight days ago.
Jehovah's Witnesses are known for refusing blood transfusions on religious grounds, but are otherwise open to other medical procedures.
The group said there was no indication that the boy's parents had been motivated by religious convictions and appealed to them to seek the best medical treatment for him.
France's Jehovah's Witnesses on Saturday announced they had asked clergy to raise the alarm if there was any sign of the family during religious services this weekend.
It is not known why Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, took their son.
On the Hampshire police's Facebook page, one poster, Katie Fletcher, wrote: "This is my mother's friend, she has run away in desperation because they cannot accept that there is nothing that can be done for their son and want to look for help abroad.
"Please don't judge, they are a very sweet loving family and I can only believe they are doing this because they want to help their son."
French authorities told AFP the family arrived on Thursday night with their seven children and were driving a grey Hyundai with the number plate KP60 HWK.
© 2014 AFP