(GUARDIAN) — The dishevelled and emaciated figure standing in the middle of the road did not look like a millionaire. Barefoot, with long hair and an unkempt beard, the man looked more like a vagrant than the missing property tycoon he was.

When Catherine Vallely stopped her car after spotting him in the middle of the road, she had initially thought the outline of the scrawny figure ahead of her was a traffic cone. “He had red trousers that made me think it was a cone in the middle of the road,” she said.

But this roadside debris turned out to be Kevin McGeever, an Irish property developer who went missing more than eight months ago and had not been heard from since June last year, when he was reported missing in County Galway by his partner, Siobhan O’Callaghan.

When Vallely and her partner Peter Rehill picked him up on the Leitrim-Cavan border, he had a one-word insult – reported to be “thief” – carved into his forehead. He told them that three men had thrown him out of a van.

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