Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Wed July 01 2015

American Tourist Missing for 5 Years Discovered in Australia

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | July 01, 2015

American Tourist Missing for 5 Years Discovered in Australia

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Despite having been missing for five years, a vanished American tourist was found alive by police in Australia.

According to the Cairns Post, police found the man amid a burglary investigation after he was chased down by a police K-9 and arrested.

The man, identified as 60-year-old Kenneth Rodman, went missing shortly after heading to the beach in northern Australia back in 2010. Officials were only able to recover a submerged kayak, which was discovered a month after Rodman's disappearance.

"Friends, family, and police were unable to make contact with him since 2010," said Queensland state police in a statement earlier this week. "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 have since turned Rodman over to immigration officials, and its expected that he'll be deported back to the U.S. 

"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," said Inspector Glenn Horan via the Post.

A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesman called Rodman a "person of interest," and said that "he will be put on a flight as soon his travel documents are in order."

"If he has his American passport that could be within days."

The reason for Rodman's disappearance remains unknown and authorities weren't able to say whether he was assisted. However, police believe he spent a majority of the past five years hiding out in the tropical areas of Far North Queensland. 

Prior to his disappearance, Rodman, who was 55 at the time, was last seen near Port Douglas, which is located nearly 40 miles north of the popular Australian tourist town of Cairns. 

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