01/02/2013 17:03 GMT | Updated 03/04/2013 06:12 BST

Missing Property Tycoon Kevin McGeever Found Barefoot With Insults Scrawled On His Face After Eight Months

Police in Ireland are investigating the discovery of a developer believed to have been held hostage for eight months before being found wandering barefoot on a road.

Property tycoon Kevin Michael McGeever, originally from Swinford, Co Mayo, had been living in the neighbouring county Galway when he went missing last year before turning up one night this week.

The dishevelled 68-year-old was found shoeless, with a beard and long hair and finger nails, in a malnourished and dehydrated state on a country road near Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, on Tuesday.

He had lost several stone in weight. He has been treated in hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, since being found.

Mr McGeever has been interviewed and given a statement to gardai where he claimed that he was kidnapped at gunpoint.

His attackers scrawled insults on his face, including writing the word thief on his forehead.

A Garda spokesmen confirmed officers in Gort are investigating an alleged abduction in Co Galway last June while gardai in Ballinamore are probing the discovery of a man on a road earlier this week.

Gardai said there is no question that Mr McGeever was held for an extended period of months based on his appearance, but that there is no evidence at this stage to back up suggestions that a Russian gang may have been involved.

Local woman Catherine Vallely found Mr McGeever as she drove near the Cavan-Leitrim border on Tuesday and said she almost mistook him for a traffic cone.

He was carrying a torch and a mobile phone at the time.

Mr McGeever was taken to Ballinamore garda station after being found where he reportedly had tea, biscuits and then curry chips.

It is also understood he has claimed that his kidnappers demanded a ransom but it is not known if anything was paid.

McGeever was reported missing to local gardai in Gort, Co Galway, on June 22. His partner Soibhan O'Callaghan had filed the report with her local station.

He made a fortune building houses, first in his native county and then further afield, before making big investment abroad including in Dubai. He fronted KMM Commercial Properties.

The developer lived in a gated mansion outside the village of Craughwell near Galway city, built on the back of his fortune.

Sources said investigating officers have been unable to determine if his story was true or not.

One Craughwell resident said most people in the village had never seen Mr McKeever in their lives as he lived in a mansion "behind locked gates".

"We had no idea who he was until this week, I don't know anyone who knew of him," she said.

"Apparently there was a missing poster in the local garda station, but if a person who was a developer goes missing people presume they are all living the high life.

"It's just the most bizarre thing ever. The mystery thickens."

Mr McGeever had originally married in Australia decades ago.