The family of a missing man who has been found alive after six years have spoken of their relief.
Matthew Green, 32, was this month spotted in Spain after he vanished from his home in Sittingbourne, Kent, in May 2010.
But the solace of knowing their son is alive is bittersweet for Jim and Pauline Green, who have been told they cannot be put in contact with him or even know where in the country he is because of data protection laws.
It has emerged Matthew was spoken to by Spanish authorities who were concerned about his welfare.
He gave the authorities a number of names, including his real one, which came up on a missing person's database.
The Greens were visited by a police officer on 3 May to inform them their son had been found.
Jim, 64, said: "When we got the knock on the door and she said it's about Matthew but it's nothing to worry about, my heart nearly stopped.
"We didn't know what to say or do."
Now the family are hoping to enlist the help of a private investigator to help get in touch with their long lost son.
The family has approached criminologist and former detective Mark Williams-Thomas.
Jim said there are so many unanswered questions that him and wife Pauline are desperate to ask.
He said: "I know he's a grown man, but put yourselves in our place.
"After all this time it would be such a relief (to see him) for all of us, all the family and friends that we know have been concerned.
"Bless his little cotton socks, I'd give him a hug and a cuddle."
The main question on the their minds, he said, would be: "Why? How have you survived for the last six years? Where have you been? We do not want to scare him off.
"They're questions we have asked time and time again."
Pauline said that Matthew was found after a DNA test taken by Spanish social services matched Matthew's.
She said: "We had a call from Kent Police and a lady came round to say that they had located Matthew as being in Spain.
"Apparently this guy came across as acting a bit strange and their social aid - like our social services - had come across him and he didn't know who he was. He gave two alias names and also Matthew Green.
"They got in touch with Interpol and they've done a finger print match and they're 99.9 per cent sure it's Matthew. Everything has snowballed from there.
"We then got in touch with the British Embassy in Madrid and we've encountered data protection because of his age."
Pauline has written to her son via the embassy but the data protection laws prohibit even telling the family if he has received them.
The couple considered getting straight on a plane but decided to hold off as he could be anywhere.
She said: "I did write him a letter with telephone numbers on and I've asked several times if the letter has reached him but due to data protection they cannot say.
"We know he's in Spain, but no not know where because they won't tell us. We don't know what happens next."
Despite these obstacles, the couple have vowed to get to the bottom of the mystery.
"This is just the beginning of the next fight. We will not give up," they said.
Kent Police said it had "closed its missing person inquiry as of 16 May 2016".
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