A five-year old missing persons case was recently solved when 39-year-old Anton Pilipa was found on the side of a Brazilian highway without shoes or identification. He didn’t offer much explanation about what he was doing there except to say he was Canadian. Police officer Helenice Vidigal took that small piece of information to Twitter and managed to figure out that Pilipa, who is from Scarborough, was reported missing by his family in 2012 and was feared dead.

After launching a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the flight, hospital and consular fees, Pilipa’s brother Stefan was able to travel to the Brazilian city of Manaus at the end of January to pick up Anton. Stefan told CBC Toronto that he doesn’t know the details of what his brother has been up to for the last five years, but that Anton is an “individualist” and the people who know him wouldn’t be surprised that he willingly went on a journey across two continents on foot. Stefan describes Anton as an “anti-poverty activist” and believes he probably made it to Brazil by walking, hitchhiking and sometimes hiding in the back of transport trucks.

As to why Anton took off without telling anyone, Stefan said that his brother was dealing with some mental health problems at the time he went missing—mental health issues his family had been struggling to help him with for years prior. Wondering what happened to Anton was the worst part of the last half decade. “I found myself being really frustrated all the time, always having that aching question: ‘Where is he? What happened to him’” Stefan said.

Now that Anton is back home in Toronto, he has to deal with outstanding assault and weapons charges that were pending at the time of his disappearance. Despite that, Anton told a reporter from BBC Brasil that he was happy he was found. “I know that I am very lucky to be alive,” he said. “I am very happy to be able to return to my family.”