'Victim' in no-body murder inquiry found alive after five years
The ‘victim’ in a no-body homicide inquiry has been found alive after being missing for almost five years.
The murder investigation began in November 2015 after Lithuanian Ricardas Puisys, who was 35 at the time and living in Cambridgeshire, had not been seen for several weeks.
Initial concerns for the safety of Mr Puisys were raised in late August when it was suggested to police he was being exploited by a modern slavery gang 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, September 26, 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.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Hall, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “There were genuine concerns Ricardas came to harm that evening. 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.”
Last year a social media account was set up in his name, displaying photographs of him, but officers were still unable to verify whether Mr Puisys was still alive.
“A team of investigators worked tirelessly following up a number of inquiries. 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 Insp Hall.
On July 1, following a search of wooded area in Harecroft Road, Mr Puisys was eventually found living in undergrowth, very well concealed after having deliberately hidden and having not spoken with anyone for some time.
Det Chief Insp Hall added: “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.