American who vanished in Australia 5 years ago found alive

2015-06-30 10:17
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - 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, 60km 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 on Monday.

"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."

Deportation likely 

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.

"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 US.

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.

As friends in the area mourned his death, the Tampa Bay Times ran a headline: "Traffic accident in Australia ends 40-year-old mystery in Florida."

It claimed Lafferty was in fact Raymond Grady Stansel Jr, who had been presumed dead in the US for 40 years.

According to the story, Stansel was arrested in 1974 for smuggling more than 12 tons of marijuana into Florida. He posted bail and surrendered his US passport to await trial.

But the trial never went ahead, with his lawyer announcing his client disappeared while scuba diving in early 1975, never to be seen again.

Read more on:    us  |  australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.