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Queensland Police
wrong place wrong time

Missing American tourist found safe and well in Australia after five years

The man was found alive by police who were investigating a burglary.

AN AMERICAN TOURIST who vanished from northern Australia five years ago, with his kayak found submerged near a beach, has been discovered alive by police investigating a burglary.

The man, named in the media as Kenneth Rodman, was last seen by a friend in 2010 near Port Douglas, 60 kilometres north of popular tourist town Cairns, as he was heading to a beach.

His kayak was discovered a month later submerged in waters several kilometres south of where he launched it and Rodman, then 55, was never heard from again.


“Friends, family and police were unable to make contact with him since 2010,” Queensland state police said in a statement late yesterday evening.

“On Saturday night, officers investigating a matter stumbled across the now 60-year-old man where he allegedly confessed to police that he had been listed as a missing person.”

Police said:

It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for a long-time missing man located in Cairns over the weekend.

The Cairns Post said he was arrested after being chased down by a police dog while officers were investigating a routine burglary in Cairns.

He is believed to have been hiding out mostly in tropical far north Queensland but it is not known if he had help or why he staged his disappearance.

Case never closed 

“The matter was never closed as a missing person case but inquiries led police to believe he was avoiding contact with authorities to stay in Australia, despite his visa expiring,” Inspector Glenn Horan added.

Police said he had been handed over to immigration officials and was expected to be deported to the United States.

The discovery comes just weeks after another American in the same area reportedly turned out not to be who he said he was.

Dennis “Lee” Lafferty was a pioneer of the north Queensland tourism industry, running a crocodile cruise company for 28 years until he died in a car accident in late May.

© – AFP 2015 Additional reporting Christina Finn

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