Man presumed murdered for five years found 'living in undergrowth'

Elias Hubbard
August 5, 2020

A Lithuanian man who police feared dead has been found alive after being missing for nearly five years.

When Ricardas Puisys vanished in September 2015 shortly after authorities received a warning from a resident concerned about his safety, police in Cambridgeshire, England, feared the worst.

Before his disappearance, Puisys had been working as a contract worker on a farm.

A man was arrested and released during the murder investigation, during which no trace of Mr Puisys was found. Photographs of someone who appears to be Mr Puisys appeared on the page in his name.

The labourer, who did not have a vehicle or close family in the United Kingdom, spoke little English and therefore mostly spent time within the local Lithuanian community.

Police believed he could have been harmed and said it was "absolutely a possibility" that he may have been a victim of modern slavery.

There were concerns that Puisys was being exploited.

He is now being safeguarded and a police investigation is under way.

Initial concerns for his well being were first raised in August 2015 when the police were contacted by someone saying Mr Puisys was being exploited and had been forced to move house. Chief Insp. Rob Hall, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said in a press release Monday. He was working at the time as a fruit producer and vegetable producer with the Nightlayer Leek Company, located about 20 miles from his home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, according to BBC News.

Police received information in June that led to officers finding him in a wooded area in Wisbech.

The officer added that they had not announced the discovery of Puisys, now 40, so to protect him and the investigation.

He was believed to have been in the company of a small group of Lithuanian men the same day he went missing.

Hall said police followed several leads before receiving information that Puisys was alive.

He was "very well concealed after having deliberately hidden and having not spoken with anyone for some time".

"He did not return to work on Monday, September 28 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".

"A team of investigators worked tirelessly following up a number of inquiries, none leading to the discovery of Ricardas", said Hall.

Police did not specify what type of exploitation Puisys was fearing when he chose to disappear, but said that an investigation into this "potential exploitation" had been launched, and detectives in Fenland were working on it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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