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Thai police find 'missing' ex-East Lancashire tourist
A TOURIST found wandering the streets of Thailand with memory loss will be reunited with his worried family after he was found by police – for a second time.
Francis O’Brien, who lived in Rishton for 20 years, failed to arrive home after holidaying in the country over Christmas. On January 10, he updated his Facebook status with the words, ‘Emot- ional goodbyes today... had a good holiday.’ However, he was instead found wandering in the Thalang district on Saturday, according to reports.
Concerned locals took him to a local police station, where he was able to tell officers he was on holiday, but not why, or how, he was there.
After identifying Mr O’Brien using his driving licence, and failing to find evidence of any injury, police let him go at his request.
But then his family again found themselves unable to get in touch to check on his safety.
He was later found at Phuket International Airport, and yesterday morning, the 51-year-old was set to fly back to his home in Ireland, his relieved daughter Jennifer O’Brien, 21, said.
She said: “I knew he went on holiday and I had regular contact with him, but then he didn’t call for three weeks.
“I was really worried. My sister, Nicola, lives in Rishton and she’s pregn-ant and was really worr-ied too. That they have found him is brilliant news. The police put him on a flight home, and we are expecting him in Ireland in a few days.
“He’s a lovely dad, but he enjoys himself a bit too much, and a lot of people have been worried about him. He obviously enjoyed his holiday. I can’t wait to hear the stories. He always has a story to tell.”
Mr O’Brien, who cel-ebrated his birthday on Saturday, lived in Cliff Street with his family until 2005 when he split up with his wife, daughter Jennifer said.
According to Irish cons- ulate Helene Fallon Wood he was expected to fly to Kuala Lumpa, before heading back to Ireland a few days later.
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