Vulnerable Lithuanian man from Wisbech thought to be murdered in 2015 could still be alive
- Credit: Clare Butler/Cambs Cops
A Lithuanian man from Wisbech - believed to have been murdered four years ago - could be alive and being exploited after a Facebook account was discovered in his name.
Ricardas Puisys, who was 35 at the time he went missing, was last seen at Nightlayer Leek Company in Chatteris on September 26, 2015 where he worked.
One man was arrested on suspicion of murder but released shortly after.
But in August 2018 police were alerted to a new Facebook profile for Ricardas with two photos.
Detectives believe that the page is being accessed and managed from somewhere in Wisbech - but are yet to pinpoint an exact location.
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Only a few messages have been exchanged between the account and family members.
But cousins of Ricardas, who live in Ireland, suspect it really is him after exchanging personal details of when they last met.
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Det Chief Inspector Adam Gallop said: "It is still a murder investigation but the images do make it impossible to be certain whether he is dead or alive.
"Family and friends looked at the pictures on the account and said 'we think it is him'.
"I am convinced that people living in the Wisbech area know what happened to him.
"There is a possibility that he is being exploited that is why we will be putting up posters around Wisbech appealing for help.
"We are concerned that some of the Lithuanian community in Wisbech have distrust of the police.
"But we urge Ricardas or anyone else with information to come and speak to us - no one is in trouble."
Detectives have attempted to make contact with the person behind the account, but are yet to establish whether Ricardas is alive.
It is not known if the pictures used are recent ones of Ricardas or taken some years ago.
It is not thought that he is back in Lithuania - but more than likely still in the Wisbech area.
DCI Gallop said: "It has been very limited contact via the Facebook account with messages often coming through late at night.
"In the messages it has been indicated that there is a reason why he doesn't want to get in touch with police.
"Family and friends are frustrated and mystified as to why he won't come forward - but if there is someone else behind this then it is a very sick joke."
Ricardas has a mother in Lithuania, sister in Germany and cousins in Ireland.
He lived at a variety of multi-occupancy addresses in Wisbech and was a casual land worker in the area local.
He had no vehicle, few friends and was described as being "a loner and vulnerable", after living in Wisbech for several years.
After his disappearance there were suggestions that he had been assaulted.
His identity card was found in a park in Wisbech, known as 'Doggy Park' in November 2015.
Police executed search warrants at five properties and completed forensic searches.
CCTV and vehicles were examined but nothing more revealed.
Police were also noted of a sighting in Great Yarmouth and a connection to his hometown of Silute in Lithuania.
Members of the public, specifically the Lithuanian community in Wisbech, are being urged to contact police if they have any information whatsoever about Ricardas' whereabouts, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
DCI Gallop said: "Whether Ricardas is alive or not, someone knows what has happened to him. Please do the right thing and come forward."
Anyone with information can submit it online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/35SA020115C09-PO1 (English) or https://mipp.police.uk/operation/35SA020115C09-PO2 (Lithuanian).
If you would prefer to speak to someone directly please call 101 and quote Operation Laysan or dial 01480 425883.
Alternatively you can call the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111 or go online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org