Carlos Sánchez Ortiz de Salazar, a Spanish doctor, went missing in 1997 from his home in Seville. He was thought to have been suffering from depression and was declared legally dead by Spanish authorities five years ago, in 2010. This all changed when two mushroom pickers came across a man by the name of Carlos deep inside a forest in Tuscany, Italy. The two claimed that they followed a trail of plastic bottles until they stumbled across a man with “a dirty face and large beard”. These men were terrified at the sight of the man and fled the scene to inform the head forest ranger.
The men returned a few hours later with the head forest ranger and were greeted Carlos himself, “I’m Spanish, my name is Carlos and I’ve been living here since 1997,” he said. “I don’t want to live among people: now that you have found me I need to get out of here.” The forest ranger requested that Carlos present identification, to which he obliged and dug out an expired passport. One of the three men were able to snap a photograph of the passport with a smartphone which they showed to the authorities to inform them of his presence. The authorities were able to track down Carlos’ family in Spain and informed them that he was still alive.
Carlos has since fled and moved to a different location, possibly deeper into the forest. The Italian authorities, as well as Carlos’ family, are still looking for him and are determined to find him. Nobody knows how Carlos was able to survive in the forest for so long. Some people believe that he had learnt how to cultivate and forage for food in the forest, while others believe that he survived by raiding trash bins on the edge of nearby towns. A few locals also claim to have seen Carlos on the outskirts of the city in the past.