Shocking twist after tourist vanished two years ago

Yahoo News Australia and agencies
·2-min read

A Belgian tourist who went missing in Peru two years ago has been found alive and living as a beggar.

Pascal Maes, 44, was recognised by another Belgian citizen, named as 55-year-old Baekelandt Koen Rudolf, in Peru's Cusco region earlier this month. 

He was found wandering and begging in the vicinity of the Temple of the Moon, an Incan ceremonial temple on the mountain of Huayna Picchu near the famed citadel of Machu Picchu.

Belgian tourist Pascal Maes is pictured left.
Belgian tourist Pascal Maes (left) was found after vanishing two years ago. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

He was found without money or a mobile phone and with an unkempt appearance.

He was taken to the local Divincri (Criminal Investigation Division) by Raul Valencia, the honorary consul of Belgium based in Cusco.

At present, it is not known why Maes did not try to seek help during his two years missing, during which a special investigations team even travelled from the capital, Lima, to try to find him.

A missing poster for Pascal Maes.
Mr Maes went missing while on holiday in Peru. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

His relatives had gradually come to the conclusion he was dead until their hopes were rekindled after cops discovered someone had tried to withdraw money using his bank card in and around Cusco last month.

After his resurfacing, Mr Maes told police he had not been harmed by anyone since he disappeared in 2019, and that his money had simply run out and he was unable to contact his family as he no longer had a mobile phone.

Mr Maes remains in contact with the Belgian consulate. 

However, it is not clear when he will return home to Belgium.

– Australscope

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