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A Lithuanian man who disappeared half a decade ago and was presumed murdered turned up living in the woods in eastern England this summer.
Ricardas Puisys was reported missing in November 2015 after he hadn’t been seen for a number of weeks, according to the Cambridge Constabulary.
For years, the case baffled authorities, who opened a murder investigation in to the Lithuanian man’s disappearance. On July 1, he was found alive in a “wooded area” in the small city of Wisbech.
Police said Puisys was living in “undergrowth” and had been isolated from people for “some time.” It’s unclear how long the missing man had been there.
The then 35-year-old was last seen on Sept. 26, 2015 at his job at a local food production company. He was thought to have spent time “in the company of a small group of Lithuanian men,” after leaving his workplace but was never seen or heard from since.
Law enforcement suggested that Puisys may have run away because he had been a victim of human trafficking and stated that he had been exploited prior to his disappearance.
“There were genuine concerns Ricardas came to harm that evening,” Detective Chief Inspector Rob Hall stated. “He did not return to work on Monday, 28 September, 2015 as expected, but we now believe Ricardas made the decision to run away as he had been a victim of crime, having previously been subject to exploitation.”
In June, authorities received information which led to Puisys’ whereabouts.
“A team of investigators worked tirelessly following up a number of inquiries, none leading to the discovery of Ricardas,” Hall said. “That was until we received information that Ricardas may have been alive and still in the Wisbech area.”
They only announced Puisys was alive this week to protect the formerly missing man’s safety and privacy.
“We made the decision not to publicly announce we had found Ricardas alive until now in order to protect him and put safeguarding measures in place,” Hall said. “He is safe and we are working very closely with him to ensure he remains safe, but also to ensure he gets the support he needs after having lived through extremely difficult circumstances during the last five or more years.”
An investigation into the “potential exploitation” of Puisys has been launched by British police.
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