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Lithuanian man presumed dead turns up alive 5 years later hiding in UK woods

A Lithuanian man who was believed to have been murdered in the United Kingdom nearly five years ago was found alive, police said Monday.

Ricardas Puisys was 35 when he was last seen in September 2015, just weeks after police learned he could be in danger.

On Saturday, police located him alive in the town of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, England, officials from the Cambridgeshire Constabulary announced in a Monday morning press release.

“For almost five years Ricardas’ disappearance has been a complete mystery. That was until we received information at the end of June which led us to finding him,” said Det. Chief Inspector Rob Hall of the Major Crime Unit overseeing Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire.

Ricardas Puisys (Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

Ricardas Puisys (Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

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After working on Sept. 26, 2015, Puisys was with a group of Lithuanian men before police said he “vanished.”

The prior month, officials obtained information that led them to believe he was being “exploited,” police said.

When he didn’t return to work on Sept. 28 of that year, police grew concerned.

“[W]e now believe Ricardas made the decision to run away as he had been a victim of crime, having previously been subject to exploitation,” Hall said. “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.”

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After receiving the tip at the end of June, police discovered Puisys living in a discreet part of a wooded area in Wisbech.

“Ricardas was eventually found living in undergrowth, very well concealed after having deliberately hidden and having not spoken with anyone for some time,” Hall said.

Police have since taken measures to ensure his safety and security.

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“He is safe,” Hall said, “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.”

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