The search for a 35-year-old Portuguese man who went missing from the western Algarve city of Lagos last week has come to a happy end, after he turned up alive and well in France.
José Duarte Gonçalves, from Odiáxere, vanished last Wednesday after taking the rubbish out and the dog for a walk.
He had apparently returned to the house after his chores, as the pet, Zeus, was tied to the doorknob. He then got in his car, drove off, and was not heard from since; until Monday.
Speaking to newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM) after his disappearance, sister-in-law Hanna Vasko said the family was “desperate” to know of his wellbeing and whereabouts, and said José had been upset following the death of his mother-in-law.
His disappearance was reported to the GNR and spread on social media.
On Monday this week, Ms. Vasko posted on Facebook “with relief” that her brother-in-law had been found.
According to CM, the Portuguese man was found in France after driving there in his car, which broke down, and he made contact with the family.
In related news, there is still no sign of a missing British man, who vanished from the village of Macieira, in the central Portugal region in July.
It was recently confirmed that authorities in Portugal are assisting in the search for 29-year-old Joel Eldridge, who was last seen in the Sertã area, in the Castelo Branco district. He has not made contact with his family since July.
In comments to The Portugal News, his mother Jacqueline Eldridge appealed for the public’s help, saying: “This is not like Joel. Something has happened and we do not believe he has left the Sertã/Coimbra region.
“Wherever Joel is, or whatever the situation, we want him home and will do all we can to help him. Please help if you can.”
The British man’s family was in the central Portugal region last week to raise awareness about Joel’s disappearance and launch an appeal among local media.
Mr. Eldridge is described as white and 5’ 10”, and has not made contact with friends or family since the middle of July 2018.
Originally from East Sussex, Joel had been in central Portugal since January this year, when he was invited by British friends to join them on a building project in Pedrógão Grande.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts and welfare should contact the PJ police in Coimbra on (+351) 239 863 000, the Sussex Police in the UK on (+44) 1273 470101, quoting Operation Lyra, or the British Consulate in Portugal on (+351) 21 392 4000.
Joel is one of at least four British men believed to be still missing in Portugal, after vanishing from different parts of the country in unrelated cases over the past four years.
Scottish chef Jon Anderson Edwards went missing in September 2014, then aged 31, in the Algarve city of Lagos.
In July 2017, Sheffield pensioner John Joyce, 72, went missing in Fátima after travelling to Portugal as part of a group on a pilgrimage.
And another British pensioner, 79-year-old expat John Bainbridge, went missing from his Algarve home in Odelouca, near Silves, in January this year.
As far as The Portugal News could establish, none of the above-listed Britons have as yet been found.