A new episode of 24 hours in police custody is tonight (Monday 5th April) and deals with the fascinating case of Ricardas Puisys.
But who was Ricardas and why did his case make headlines around the world?
** WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD **
What will 24 hours in police custody cover tonight?
Channel 4’s True Crime series accompanies officials in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire as they investigate cases from across the region.
In tonight’s episode, DCI Adam Gallop believes a man declared missing in 2015 was murdered.
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But without a body and the more time goes by, the less likely the new witnesses or forensic evidence will emerge.
The police investigations lead officials from an urgent excavation in the forest, during which the missing person was probably shot while looking for clues to a trip through Europe.
When did Ricardas Puisys disappear?
Ricardas Puisys from Lithuania, 35, left his job in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire in September 2015.
The police spoke little English and feared the worst for Ricardas. Soon someone was getting his ID card from a local park.
But that was the only crumb.
When several appeals to the public failed, the police changed their classification of the case.
It was a homicide investigation now, even though there was no body.
Although a man was arrested for murder in 2015 and subsequently released, the case looked like it had hit a dead end.
However, a Facebook account used by Ricardas was created in 2018.
And with this new information, Cambridgeshire Police started a new round of media calls.
When did the breakthrough happen?
The police described the case as one of the “most unusual” they had ever encountered.
Those working on the investigation had to wonder whether human slavery and human trafficking were involved.
Ricarda’s disappearance has been a complete mystery for almost five years.
However, there was a breakthrough in the summer of 2020.
“For almost five years, the disappearance of Ricardas has been a complete mystery.
“That was until we got information in late June that led us to find him,” said Detective Chief Inspector Rob Hall.
What really happened to Ricardas and is he still alive today?
DCI Hall continued, “After a search in a wooded 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.
“We have decided not to publicly announce that we have found Ricardas alive so far in order to protect him and take protective measures.
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“He’s safe and we are working very closely with him to make sure he stays safe.
“But also to make sure he gets the support he needs after going through extremely difficult circumstances for the past five years or more.”
24 hours in police custody is tonight (Monday 5 April) at 9 p.m. on Channel 4
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