A Massachusetts man who was reported to be missing and suicidal was found Thursday and charged with concocting the story with his girlfriend after a massive land-and-sea search near Nubble Light in Cape Neddick, according to York police.

Nathan Buiwit, 39, of Lunenburg, was found near the southern end of Long Sands Beach in York around 1 p.m. Thursday, several hours into an intense search that involved local police, fire, ambulance and harbor patrol personnel, along with the Maine Marine Patrol, a Coast Guard boat and helicopter, and a Maine Warden Service plane.

“There was no intent to kill himself,” York police Sgt. Brian Curtin said Thursday evening.

York police started looking for Buiwit around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Curtin said. That’s when police in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, issued an advisory asking police to be on the lookout for Buiwit because he might be in southern Maine.

A family member had reported that Buiwit was missing, possibly suicidal and might have violated a protection from abuse order in Fitchburg, Curtin said. Fitchburg police had pinged Buiwit’s cellphone and determined that it was near Kittery or York, Curtin said.

The search for Buiwit ramped up around 6 a.m. Thursday, when someone reported that a car had been left unattended and running in the parking lot at the lighthouse, Curtin said. When officers checked the vehicle, they discovered it was registered to Buiwit.

Police located Buiwit five hours later, after he was spotted and reported by a recreational photographer, Curtin said.

“He was waving at him,” Curtin said of Buiwit’s reaction to the photographer.

Police determined that Buiwit was never missing or suicidal after they questioned him and his girlfriend, Catherine Thebeau, 39, of Orange, Massachusetts, who also was in York on Thursday, Curtin said.

Police first noted inconsistencies in the couple’s statements, then Thebeau ultimately revealed that they had made up the story, possibly to deflect attention from an incident related to the protection from abuse order in Fitchburg, Curtin said.

Buiwit was arrested and charged with issuing a false public alarm or report and was released on $1,000 bail pending a court arraignment, Curtin said. Police gave Thebeau a court summons charging her with issuing a false public alarm or report and falsifying an initial written report. Both are Class D crimes that are each punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Curtin said the charges underscore the manpower and resources expended in the search for Buiwit.

“Not to mention the heartache and concern caused to Mr. Buiwit’s family members,” Curtin said. “A number of his family had traveled to the Nubble Light area and were present for much of the search.”

In an unrelated search, the Coast Guard also sent a helicopter and boat around 1 p.m. for a search that started in Old Orchard Beach for a missing kayaker, said Lt. Scott McCann, a Coast Guard spokesman.

McCann said the kayaker was found around 1:45 p.m. by a member of the Scarborough Fire Department. The kayaker, it turns out, was not in distress.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan contributed to this report.

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