A 40-year-old farm worker who was feared to have been murdered five years ago was found alive in the Cambridgeshire woods. This was announced today.
Ricardas Puisys, who comes from Lithuania, has created a home that the police call "very well hidden" in the deep undergrowth of a residential street in Wisbech.
The 40-year-old had disappeared from work on a leek farm in Chatteris 20 miles away in September 2015. Detectives feared that they had been murdered.
Security concerns have been raised last month when he is suspected of being exploited, and a murder investigation was launched in November 2015.
A 31-year-old man from Wisbech was arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of murder and taken into custody, but was later released without further measures.
Ricardas Puisys, 40, was discovered by police last month after missing five years ago
A tent in the forest where Mr. Puisys was found alive after being missing for five years. The 40-year-old had disappeared from work on a leek farm in September 2015
Two forest areas have been used regularly in recent years by Eastern Europeans who lived in a number of tents and shelters.
It is believed that other men who slept rough in the two areas either knew nothing about his existence or did not appear to know that he should be dead.
The residents of the street spoke of their anger today about rough sleepers and gangs of street drinkers who gathered in the forest and caused a nuisance.
A group that had lived in National Trust forests was successfully evicted last year, leaving piles of rubble that had to be cleared up by council workers.
Concern about him first came to light in August 2015 when a local resident told the police they suspected he was being exploited and had to switch addresses within Wisbech.
The police spoke to Mr. Puisys in his house, but he told them he was fine.
It was known that he had left the Nightlayer Leek Company in Chatteris on September 26, 2015 and joined a group of Lithuanian men in the evening.
The alarm was triggered when he did not show up for a shift two days later and his ID was found in a park.
The Cambridgeshire police eventually discovered Mr. Puisys, who lived in the woods on Harecroft Road on July 1, but delayed the announcement that he had been found to date to ensure that he was in a safe place.
They announced today that they believe he was actually a victim of "modern slavery".
He was found by the police at a place in a forest near a cluster of houses in Wisbech (above).
Keith Dorman, 59, who lives on Harecroft Road, said he had struggled to drive a group of campers out of the National Trust forest across from his bungalow.
He said: “It was terrible when they were here and it took almost a year to get kicked off. They made feces in the forest and left all their rubbish piled up.
"Mothers walked through the woods with their kids, but these boys just exposed and urinated. It was very uncomfortable.
They lived in tents and shelters and felled the trees for firewood and building materials. They were picked most of the time.
& # 39; It started as one or two of them, but the numbers grew. At some point a dozen of them sat together and drank together. It was like a party. & # 39;
Mr. Puisys disappeared from his job in a food production company in September 2015
References to a campsite in one of the two forest areas in Wisbech, which are known to have been used by rough sleepers and street drinkers
He added, “I followed a man who stumbled to a local shop to buy alcohol and he fell three times on the way.
"I told the shopkeeper that he shouldn't serve anyone in this condition, and he replied that if he refused to sell him alcohol, he would be threatened."
"I contacted the police first, but they said they couldn't do anything because they hadn't committed a crime.
Then I contacted the Fenland Council and a local council, but they couldn't do much because the country belonged to the National Trust.
The city council told me they were all in the works, but I said that was irrelevant. He also said that they were offered alternative accommodation but did not want to because they were happy to be rent-free. & # 39;
A photo of a much younger Mr. Puisys, issued by the Cambridgeshire police at the time of his disappearance in 2015
Mr. Dorman also said he called the National Trust "four or five times" and was initially told that it was "too expensive to do something about", but he continued to pursue her before "getting through to someone with authority." "who told him that this was the case in the process of obtaining a court order.
& # 39; Finally the police came by hand and they were all booted. The next day, three Fenland Council vans showed up and sent all the chaos over a day.
"There were old beds, sleeping bags, empty food containers, bottles and cans and all kinds of garbage."
Mr. Dorman said he saw men who lived rough in the second forest area of the road and even slept under a tarpaulin stretched over a ditch on the side of the road.
He said: “It is common to see these sights in Wisbech. There are hardly any forest or community areas in the city where people have slept badly.
“Others have tried to return to the forest since last year's eviction. I found a man there and made it clear to him that he had to go and he went somewhere else. & # 39;
Another resident who asked not to be named added: “It was a real problem last year. The people living in the forest particularly disturbed the smell of their campfires.
“They all worked because I was told that they were picked up and brought to work every day by van. But they preferred to live rough so that they didn't have to pay rent and had more money for drinks. & # 39;
A general view of Harecroft Road in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Mr. Puisys was discovered by the police in a "very well hidden" place in the woods near a cluster of houses
Mr. Puisys worked at Nightlayer Leek Company in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire on September 26, 2015, and this was the last confirmed and confirmed sighting of him alive and well
A general view of Harecroft Road in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The officials said they decided not to publicly disclose that he was still alive to protect him
At the time he was missing, Mr. Puisys had no car or close family in the UK and spoke little English.
He was still believed dead in August 2018 when a Facebook profile with his name, picture and 69 friends was found, all of whom were his friends and relatives.
Investigations revealed a phone number associated with the account, but detectives could not find the owner, and the police found that the site was managed from Wisbech.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Hall said today: “The disappearance of Ricardas has been a complete mystery for almost five years. That was until we received information in late June that led us to find him.
Mr. Hall said there was "real concern" that he had been harmed the night he was last seen.
A general view of Harecroft Road in Wisbech. Keith Dorman, 59, who lives on the street, said he had struggled to drive a group of campers out of the National Trust forests
Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. The concern about Mr. Puisys first came up in August 2015 when a local resident told the police they suspected he was being exploited
Harecroft Road in Wisbech. Police said an investigation into potential exploitation had begun and a team of detectives was now working through various investigations
Mr. Hall continued: “He did not return to work as expected on September 28, 2015, but we now believe that Ricardas made the decision to run away because he had been the victim of a crime and had previously been exploited.
& # 39; A team of investigators worked tirelessly on a series of investigations, none of which led to the discovery of Ricardas. Until we got the information that Ricardas may still be living in the Wisbech area.
"After a search in a forest area on Harecroft Road, Ricardas was finally found in the undergrowth, very well hidden after deliberately hiding and not speaking to anyone for some time."
The officials said they chose not to publicly disclose that he was still alive to protect him and take protective measures.
Mr. Hall added: "He is safe and we are working very closely with him to ensure that he remains safe, but also to ensure that he receives the support he needs after he has been in the past five or four years went through extremely difficult circumstances for years. "
Police said an investigation into potential exploitation had begun and a team of detectives was now working through various investigations.
. (tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages