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Man in bodiless murder investigation found alive after almost five years

3 Aug 2020

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

A murder investigation was launched in November 2015 after Ricardas Puisys, who was 35 at the time, had not been seen for several weeks.

On 1 July this year (2020), after years of work to find him, Ricardas was found alive in Wisbech.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Hall, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “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.”

Initial concerns for Ricardas’ safety were raised in late August 2015 when it was suggested to police he was being exploited and had moved addresses within Wisbech.

At this time he worked at Nightlayer Leek Company in Dean Drove, Chatteris, through an agency. He worked on Saturday, 26 September, 2015 and this was the last confirmed and corroborated sighting of him alive and well.

Later that same evening he was believed to be in the company of a small group of Lithuanian men, but from this moment he had vanished.

DCI Hall added: “There were genuine concerns Ricardas came to harm that evening. 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.

“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.

“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.

“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 potential exploitation of Ricardas has been launched and a team of detectives in Fenland are working their way through a number of inquiries.

Information about modern slavery, including exploitation and its many different forms, can be found on the force website here https://bit.ly/2XbVToT. It includes information on how to spot the signs, what to do if you have concerns and details of various support services.

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