Source AP ©

Missing UK canoeist has lapse of memory since June 2000

A missing man who mysteriously reappeared after a canoeing trip cannot remember anything since June of 2000.

Rescuers mounted an intensive search for John Darwin, who disappeared in heavy waters in 2002 near his home in Seaton Carew, about 260 miles (420 kilometers) north of London. He was not found and was presumed drowned. But on Saturday he showed up at a London police station, saying he believed he was a missing person.

"We have spoken with John and he appears to be in good health, however he currently has no memory of events since June 2000," his sons Anthony and Mark said in a statement issued by the Cleveland Police, the police force in the area of Darwin's disappearance, which is investigating the matter.

"We are extremely happy that he is alive and we are looking forward to spending time with him."

Darwin vanished five years ago. The statement suggested that he cannot remember anything even two years before the incident.

The case has generated enormous media interest in Britain, in part because John's wife, Anne, reportedly moved to Central America shortly before he reappeared.

Ronald Darwin, John's father, said Monday that he always believed his son was alive, explaining that John had suffered a serious head injury when he was 4 or 5 years old, something he thought might have caused amnesia later in life.

But Britain's media have focused on the whereabouts of Anne, and whether or not John had life insurance.

Sky News television reported that Anne left Britain "in a hurry" only weeks before her husband resurfaced. Sky said she had left for Panama soon after selling her home in Seaton Carew. The television station did not cite any sources, and police have refused to comment on the claim, saying only that they need to "go into certain lines of inquiry" before they interview John.

In their statement the sons said that their mother, Anne, had been informed and was delighted with the news, pleading with the media to allow the family some privacy.

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