American Tourist Found In Australia: Kenneth Rodman Found Alive After Five Years, Did He Stage His Disappearance?

An American tourist, found alive in Australia, is no longer considered a missing person.

Kenneth Rodman was reported missing by a friend on December 21, 2010. At the time, Rodman was 55-years-old and was traveling around the country in a green kayak, according to AFP. A month after he was reported missing, Rodman’s kayak was found submerged in waters several kilometers south of where he had launched it.

Because he was traveling with a tourist visa, Rodman was only allowed to stay in the country for 12 months. However, he never returned home, and his family hadn’t heard from him since 2010.

On Saturday, June 27, police were investigating a burglary in Cairns when they stumbled upon the American tourist. Rodman, now 60-years-old, ran from the police, who then sent police dogs after him. Soon after, he decided to confess to who he was and admitted that he had been listed on the missing person’s list for the last five years. Queensland state police released a statement late Monday night, detailing the account, the Spreadit reports.

“Friends, family and police were unable to make contact with him since 2010. 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. 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.”

“He went off into the bush… the dog found him hiding in the grass,” Far Northern police Acting Detective Inspector Glenn Horan said, according to the Cairns Post.

Rodman is believed to have been hiding in the tropical far-north Queensland. How, and why, he staged his disappearance is still a big mystery. However, police are speculating that he was simply trying to stay in Australia, and feared being deported.

“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 said.

Police turned Rodman over to the Department of Immigration, who has refused to answer any questions about where Rodman is currently being held or what grounds he would be deported on.

“He will be put on a flight as soon his travel documents are in order,” a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said. “If he has his American passport, that could be within days.”

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