The poor family must have been tearing their hair out with worry. Lester Laoagan a young 36-year-old domiciled in Monaco disappeared off the face of the earth in mid-August. Last seen mounting a bus at midday on August 15th in Place des Moulins in Monte Carlo where the security surveillance cameras had identified him standing waiting for the bus. Where could he have gone? He was happily integrated in the local community and was giving care part-time to a family in Cap d’Ail. Lester was a trained nurse from the Philippines. All the stranger the silence because Lester had an autistic brother that he liked to be regularly in contact with. Yet not a word, nor any trace of him on social media either.
Lester’s family did not let grass grow under their feet once they realized he was missing. They contacted the Monaco police and the French police who in turn would have also contacted Interpol. And Lester’s family used every avenue at their disposal to get the word out including Facebook, the media and national TV in the Philippines. Monaco worked hand in glove with the French police trying to locate him. No trace. A complete mystery. Lester’s family who were all intensely involved in the hunt included his sister who is an actress in Paris and his cousin who is a nurse in Boston. They came to Monaco, Nice and the Riviera to help search for him and also scouted all around Paris. Disappearances if not solved rapidly are anguishing. The longer the disappearance the probabilities of a reunion are so low as to be heart-breaking.
And so HelloMonaco is particularly pleased to report a happy ending. The press, which we have been scouring for news of the missing young man, have reported that Lester had turned up in a park in Paris on September 21st. No-one wants a “cold case” for anyone who frequents Monaco and also who has friends in the surrounding communities. Thirty-seven days without trace is quite long enough. And such a relief for all his family and good news for all those who depend on Lester for care and support.
Of course, the big question is what happened to Lester? We glean from the press that he was in a frightful state in the park – dirty, hair askew, unshaven; nothing like his former self. The story goes like this. From Monaco he was robbed in Cannes and was left in a state of shock with all his ID, including passport and money stolen. Somehow, he managed to hitchhike to Paris. But in a state of shock he could not go and get a new passport or communicate. So he ended up living in parks being taken care of by fellow home-less people. Then as luck would have it – and thanks to the incredible efforts of his family – one of their Facebook appeals hit the bulls-eye. Someone recognized Lester in the toilets in the park. Hey Presto, happy ending – Lester saved.