Man Believed to Have Been Killed Found Alive in Woods After 5 Years

A man who was believed to have been killed has been found in the forest, nearly 5 years after he disappeared amid fears he was being exploited.

Last time 40-year-old Ricardas Puisys was reportedly seen, was on 26 September 2015 at the place he worked – about 20 miles from his home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. A couple of days later he did not show up for work and in November of the same year, police launched a murder investigation. One month later, a man was arrested on suspicion of his murder before being let go without being charged.

But recently, hopes that he might in fact be alive were raised when a Facebook account was created in his name, and pictures were posted of a man, cops believed to be Puisys. Last November authorities launched an appeal to find him and in December they said they had received a number of reports of sightings of him.

Last Monday, officers said that he had been found in hiding on 1 July in the Wisbech area.

They believed he had run away because of fears for his safety. In August of 2015, shortly before his disappearance, a local resident raised concerns that Puisys was being exploited and may have been forced to move addresses against his own volition.

DCI Rob Hall from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit revealed the following:

“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.”

Puisys used to work in Chatteris at the Nightlayer Leek Company through an agency at the time he went missing.

After finishing his shift on 26 September 2015 he was believed to have been in the company of a few men from Lithuania, but he simply vanished from that moment on.

Hall said:

“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.

“A team of investigators worked tirelessly following up a number of inquiries, none leading to the discovery of Ricardas. That was until we received information that Ricardas may have been alive and still in the Wisbech area.

“Following a search of wooded area in Harecroft Road, Ricardas was eventually found living in undergrowth, very well concealed after having deliberately hidden and having not spoken with anyone for some time.”

He added that the choice to delay the public announcement that Puisys was alive had been delayed to shield him from potential harm and to allow time to set up safeguarding measures. He also said police wanted “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”.

When authorities found the Facebook page, they said it was being activated from somewhere in Wisbech but they had not been able to find the exact place. 

After a local raised concerns about the missing man back in 2015, police spoke to Puisys but he told them he was doing alright, the Cambridgeshire Live reports. However, cops later said that because he was out of cash, did not have many friends, and had no family in the UK, he had “the type of character that was vulnerable to exploitation”.

Hall said an investigation into the exploitation of Puisys is now undergoing.

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