Missing man wanders out of the wild
A 55-year-old man missing since August has wandered out of the forest in Thuringia and presented himself to police. After four months of living wild, he apparently got too cold.
The man was reported missing by his employer in the town of Rudolstadt on August 4, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Thursday. Considered a reliable worker, he had not turned up to the office and attempts to contact him had failed.
However, a subsequent search for the man was unsuccessful.
Later his wallet with money and an insurance card were found in the city of Eisenach, leading police to consider the possibility he had met with an accident or been the victim of some crime.
But on Wednesday, the man reported himself to police in the market town of Bad Steben in Bavaria. Police identified him from a picture on the missing persons database as the man reported lost in Thuringia four months earlier.
The man, who had absolutely no money, had been living in the forest since late summer.
He was dragged back to civilisation only by the sub-zero temperatures of recent days.
The man had been walking through the forest, moving from mountain hut to hut. He collected bottles thrown away by hikers and occasionally went into villages, collected the recycling refunds and bought food.
Around the start of December, his shoes and clothing had become wet, while his sleeping back could no longer hold the bitter winter cold at bay.
He resolved to finally end his walking tour and presented himself to the police about two kilometres south of the state border between Bavaria and Thuringia.
Authorities there put him up for the night and gave him a train ticket home. It is not know exactly why the man so abruptly gave up his life to live in the forest.