A man who police in the UK feared had been murdered has been found in the woods, where he had been hiding for the past five years.

Ricardas Puisys, 40, disappeared in September 2015.

He was last seen at work, about 30km from where he lives in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

After he'd been missing for more than a month, in November 2015, police launched a murder investigation. In December that year, they arrested a man on suspicion of Puisys' murder but the suspect was later released without charge.

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Police say they discovered Puisys was still alive on July 1 but held off from releasing the news to make sure that he was safe.

Hopes that he could have been alive were raised when a Facebook acount was created with his name and photos of a man who authorities believed to be him.

This week, police confirmed Puisys was found in the woods in Cambridgeshire on July 1, where he is believed to have fled to nearly five years ago, fearing for his safety.

There were concerns that Puisys was being exploited.

"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 DCI Rob Hall, from the Bedforshire, Cambrdigeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit.

Police say the man was working at Nightlayer Leek Company through an agency when he went missing.

The evening he disappeared, he was believed to have been with a group of Lithuanian men after work.

"There were genuine concerns Ricardas came to harm that evening 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," Hall said.

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"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."


Authorities say he has "lived through extremely difficult circumstances during the last five or more years".

They say that, with not much money and no family in then UK, Puisys was "vulnerable to exploitation".

An investigation into the case has been launched.