Michael Kevin McGeever, the Irish real estate magnate who disappeared eight months ago, has been found walking down a country road near the town of Swanlinbar at the border between Counties Cavan and Leitrim in the northern part of the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish Times reported that he was discovered by a couple on Tuesday evening, strolling alone barefoot, with no money, carrying only a mobile phone and a torch. He seemed emaciated and disoriented and did not know what day it was or where in Ireland he was.
The BBC noted that his hair was long and disheveled and he sported a long beard and very long fingernails.
The man claimed he had been dropped off on the road by men driving a van. According to reports, McGeever alleged he had been held hostage for several months.
“They went to the local garda [police] station, and they got him tea and biscuits," Martin Kenny, a local councilor at Leitrim who knows the couple that found McGeever, told the BBC. "He gobbled up the biscuits as he was ravenous, so they got him some curry chips. They discovered he had been missing for the past eight months and that he was in fact an international high flyer. He was well-spoken, intelligent and well-educated."
The BBC reported that he is now recovering in a hospital in Mullingar, County Westmeath, suffering from malnutrition and dehydration.
"He was covered in a plastic bag and wasn't wearing any shoes," Kenny told Irish media. "Where he has been for the past months is anyone's guess, but it must be a great relief for his family. He was absolutely ravenous. He was extremely thin and not in great shape at all.”
McGeever, 68, was first reported missing last June in the city of Gort, in County Galway in southwestern Ireland.
Until police complete their interrogation of McGeever, his disappearance and strange reappearance will be a mystery.
However, RTE, the Irish television broadcaster, reported that McGeever told police he was abducted from his home by a gang of masked men but that he could not remember what happened to him afterward.
"He told gardai he was abducted ... from the garden of his home in Craughwell in County Galway. That is a mansion. ... He said the kidnappers had demanded a ransom for his safe release, but he did not know whether a ransom had been paid," RTE's crime correspondent Paul Reynolds said.
Reynolds added that McGeever had strange markings, including the word "thief," on his forehead that were likely carved by a knife.
The Daily Mail reported that McGeever claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by Russian mobsters, allegedly because he owed money to both the Russian mafia and the provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army.
McGeever made a fortune during Ireland’s real estate boom in the 1990s as head of KMM Commercial Properties. He owns a home valued at 3 million euros ($4.1 million), as well as a private helicopter and a fleet of luxury cars and limousines.
He also bought and sold luxury property for English and Irish customers in Dubai.
The police are continuing the investigation surrounding his bizarre saga.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.