Hawaii Coastguard Mystery: Missing Man Returns

Hawaii Coastguard Mystery: Missing Man Returns

A member of the US Coast Guard who vanished three months ago has now returned home - confused and unable to tell his wife where he had been.

Petty Officer First Class Russell Matthews disappeared in October leaving behind just an abandoned car.

Despite a 10,000-square mile search of both land and sea along the coast of Hawaii, no trace of the 36-year-old could be found.

His car was discovered at Kaena Point, a remote area of Oahu.

The search for Petty Officer Matthews, who has been in the Coast Guard for 15 years, was eventually called off on December 13.

However, PO Matthews, who is a rescue swimmer, suddenly reappeared at his home on Sunday.

He was incoherent and had to be taken to hospital for treatment, according to the Honolulu Police Department and Coast Guard .

Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Gene Maestas reportedly told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that PO Matthews was under investigation for illegal drug use, specifically marijuana, at the time of his disappearance.

A call to the Coast Guard to confirm the report has not been returned.

Lt Maestas has said the service did not know where PO Matthews had been or what he had been doing since his wife reported him missing on October 9.

He said: "This is not the norm for the Coast Guard. In my 28-year career in the Coast Guard, I have never come across a case like this."

Coast Guard investigators were sent to see him to confirm his identity after he called his employer from a Honolulu medical centre.

Lt Maestas said PO Matthews would not be questioned until he was released by doctors - but the service would be investigating his disappearance.

He said: "We'll try to find out why he disappeared and all the details surrounding his case."

Sergeant Kim Buffett, of Honolulu Police, said detectives had no reason to pursue the case as it was not against the law to be missing.

She said the police case had been closed now PO Matthews had been found.