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Feared dead, man emerges from woods five years after going missing

Published Aug 4th, 2020 10:35PM EDT
missing man found
Image: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

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  • A man in England is very much alive after spending five years in the woods while police searched for his body and killer.
  • The man was hiding out of fear of exploitation, police now say, and they are investigating.
  • Five years after he disappeared, he created a new Facebook account, leading police down a path that ended when they found him hiding out.

Normally, when a guy goes missing for five years, a happy ending isn’t expected. When Ricardas Puisys of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in England disappeared in late 2015, it was suspected that he had been murdered. Nobody was ever charged in the case, and that’s a good thing, because Puisys was just found alive and well after spending the past half-decade living in the woods.

`Prior to being found, the last anyone had seen of Puisys was on the evening of September 26th, 2015, when he left work and joined “a small group of Lithuanian men,” according to The Guardian. When he failed to show up for work the following days, a search was conducted, but a body was never found.

Local law enforcement says that Puisys was hiding out for his own safety, and feared he was “being exploited.” Nobody had seen or heard from him in half a decade, but then the wonders of social media came to the rescue. Puisys decided to rejoin society by starting up a Facebook account with his name and several more recent photos.

Police eventually tracked him down and, after ensuring his safety from whatever dangers he was hiding out from, they announced that the missing persons’ case had been solved in the best possible way. Aside from the obvious hardships of living in the wild for five years, Puisys is apparently doing fairly well, at least in terms of his health.

“For almost five years Ricardas’s disappearance has been a complete mystery. That was until we received information at the end of June, which led us to finding him,” Rob Hall, an investigator on the case, said in a statement. “There were genuine concerns Ricardas came to harm that evening … 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.”

As for the conditions in which he spent the past five years, Hall explains: “Ricardas was eventually found living in undergrowth, very well concealed after having deliberately hidden and having not spoken with anyone for some time.”

Police are now investigating the exploitation allegations and have launched a new investigation to get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, Puisys is receiving support to get back on his feet after living in the remote wooded area for five years with little or no human contact whatsoever.