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Ozarks Man Returns Home After Myanmar Arrest

American John Yettaw has arrived back home in the Ozarks after being deported from the southeast Asian country of Myanmar, where he ran into trouble for secretly visiting democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports.

Yettaw was arrested in Myanmar in May after making a nighttime swim to the activist’s home. He was released and deported after a US Senator from Virginia intervened.

Yettaw arrived at the Springfield-Branson National Airport Wednesday night with a nurse and left the airport with family members.

Kent Boyd is the spokesperson for the airport. He says before Yettaw’s plane touched down in Springfield, family members requested that he be allowed to exit through a back way.

The 53-year-old man is from Falcon, Missouri, which has nothing more than a post office and a few homes. The tiny community is located about 20 miles east of Lebanon.

A postal worker at the US post office in Falcon confirmed that Yettaw does receive mail there, but said she didn’t know anything else about him.

The editor of the Lebanon Daily Record, Julie Turner-Crawford, said she’s received international attention from media outlets trying to find out who John Yettaw is, and what he was doing in Myanmar.

She says an Asian news crew spent two days in Lebanon and Laclede county, trying to learn more. She's also received calls from Newsweek, Time Magazine, and several major newspapers, she says.

Crawford says Yettaw had six children, one of whom died in a motorcycle accident in Laclede county several years ago. His remaining five children, she said, attended school in Laclede County, but are currently in California with their mother.

Crawford says, despite her investigating, this Missouri man remains largely a mystery.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also arrested at the time Yettaw was discovered at her home; she remains in detention.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.