Italian man found in Scotland with memory loss looked up ‘how to disappear’

Salvatore Mannino was rushed to the Royal Infirmary on September 20 after being taken ill in St Giles' Cathedral.
Salvatore Mannino was rushed to the Royal Infirmary on September 20 after being taken ill in St Giles' Cathedral.
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An Italian man found in Edinburgh with apparent memory loss is being questioned by police in his home country amid reports he searched the internet for “how to disappear without a trace”.

Salvatore Mannino, 52, was discovered in St Giles’ Cathedral last month and had no idea who he was, according to Police Scotland.

The businessman had gone missing from Lajatico, near Pisa, the previous day 
after taking his children to school.

According to reports in Italy, Mr Mannino has been charged with “violating his family assistance obligations”.

Ansa, a news agency, reported that investigators had found searches on his laptop of how to disappear without a trace.

It has been reported that Mr Mannino, who remains under supervision in hospital, tried to close joint bank accounts belonging to him and his wife, moving the money to accounts under her name only.

Before leaving the family home, he left a briefcase with 10,500 euros and a sheet of paper with a numerical sequence, a code which was deciphered by his eldest son, 18.

Aerospace student Filippo told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera earlier this month: “It was a message Dad left me to decipher, I am sure of it, because he knew I am passionate about mathematical games.”

He is also said to have checked the weather forecast for Edinburgh and Aberdeen before leaving Italy.

Ansa said Mr Mannino had been questioned at length by the carabinieri, Italy’s military police.

Mr Mannino, who claims to be unable to speak Italian, has been communicating in basic English.

He is being assessed at a psychiatric ward in Pisa, where doctors are yet to diagnose his condition.

His account of what happened to him has also not convinced his relatives, it has been reported.

According to Italian reports, investigators believe he is putting on an act and 
“understands Italian perfectly well”.

Speaking at the time of the public appeal earlier this month, Constable Lesley Jack, of Police Scotland, said: “This is a very unusual inquiry, as we have a member of the public who has no idea about who he is, where he is from or who we can call on his behalf.”