Man from Yorkshire missing for a year found in Lapland
Twenty-six-year-old Nial Atkin went missing in May 2020 from Huddersfield, with police initially believing that he suffered a breakdown and fled to Scotland. But over a year later, one mother is very happy to finally be reuniting with her son.
Jerry Ahlqvist living in Kiruna, Sweden, offered a rough sleeper a bed and a hot shower for the night. But upon revelations, Ahlqvist took Facebook for help:
"So yesterday I found a homeless person that was acting a bit strange, he seemed confused and was just walking back and forth.
"I brought him home and cleaned him, gave him some food and new clothes, and a clean bed to sleep in.
"He is kind of hard to communicate with, he gets lost in his thoughts, takes a long time to answer questions and he just stares into nothing.
"He has told me some information about himself but he ends every sentence with ‘sort of’ so the information can also be incorrect.’
"I can’t help the feeling that his family is concerned about his whereabouts and maybe looking for him, also he is confused and he is not capable of taking care of himself.
"Anyway, he is currently in a small town called Kiruna way up north in Sweden. I think he needs some help but I don’t know what to do? Help me help him? Share and try finding his family?"
Luckily enough, Facebook users turned him onto missing person reports and eventually the man was able to find Atkin's mother Maura Roberts.
"We have found his mother and I have spoken with her on the phone.
"Everything will be sorted out.
"The thing is that Nial is in a psychotic state and he does not know what he wants or what’s best for him. But we will figure this out.
"His mother knows and understands because she has a psychiatric education and I know and understand because I have myself gone through treatment for schizophrenia and have suffered psychosis myself so I saw the signs from across the streets."
He added: "Everything will be okay and we will try to get the proper treatment for him!"
Both the Foreign Office and West Yorkshire police have been contacted and are helping to reunite Niall with his family here in the UK.
A statement from the police reads:
"Kirklees Police were contacted on Sunday, July 11 2021 by a caller who made a missing person’s report about a 26-year-old male who was said to be missing and believed to be in Sweden.
"Officers have now spoken with a resident in Sweden who has confirmed they have had contact with the missing person and enquiries currently remain ongoing."