The governments of Russia and the Czech Republic helped secure the release of Kevin Patrick Dawes.

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Kevin Patrick Dawes, a U.S. citizen who vanished into Syria from southern Turkey nearly four years ago, has been released by Syrian authorities, a senior U.S. government official said Friday.

The State Department said a U.S. citizen had been released in recent days and was no longer in Syria, declining to identify the person because of privacy policy. But the senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed it was Dawes, 33, who grew up in Renton, Wash., and lived in San Diego. Dawes was known as an adventurer who sometimes had carried a weapon and had traveled around Libya during that country’s conflict in 2011.

State Department officials said the governments of Russia and the Czech Republic had helped secure the release of the American. They also said they are continuing to seek information about Austin Tice, a freelance journalist who has not been seen for four years and who is believed to be the only other American missing in Syria.

“We can confirm and welcome the news that a U.S. citizen was released by Syrian authorities,” the State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said in a statement.

Dawes is described by an FBI missing-person’s notice as a freelance photographer. Journalists who met him while covering the conflicts in Libya and Syria knew him better for what they described as his war-zone adventurism.

The State Department described the U.S. citizen as a “detainee,” not a “hostage,” and said he was released in the past few days. The agency declined to provide information on why Dawes was initially detained.

The Russian foreign ministry, however, said Dawes was flown to Moscow on April 1 and turned over to the U.S. Embassy there.

“Some time ago, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a personal request for assistance in the search for U.S. citizens who could be in Syrian territory,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

Dawes had been allowed in recent months to call his family and receive care packages, a signal to officials that the Syrian government was moving toward releasing him, officials said.

In a statement to KIRO-TV in Seattle, the Dawes family praised the U.S. government’s efforts in achieving the release and expressed sympathy to those families with missing loved ones overseas.

Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria’s civil war. He had been contributing articles to The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and other news outlets. A video released a month after he vanished showed the journalist, blindfolded and held by armed men, saying, “Oh, Jesus.” He has not been heard from since then.

Early in the Libya conflict, Dawes introduced himself as a freelance journalist, and for a time worked with Libyan medics. But by the end of that conflict, he often was seen carrying a rifle near the rebel front lines or directing traffic at rebel checkpoints.

James Harkin, a journalist and author who profiled Dawes in an article published by GQ in January, wrote that he had met Dawes in southern Turkey just before his disappearance in Syria in September 2012. Harkin wrote that Dawes seemed to consider himself part of a growing community of freelance journalists who had done reporting in Libya and now wanted to enter Syria.

“But while most of these new arrivals were real reporters earning their spurs, there was a worrying new development — the presence of adrenaline-junkies, adventurers, fantasists or crazy narcissists who shouldn’t have been in Libya or Syria in the first place,” Harkin wrote. “Professional journalists quickly got to hear about them too, and one of them was Dawes.”

Eliot Higgins, a blogger who founded Bellingcat, an investigative-journalism website, said he had spoken to Dawes the day before he vanished in Syria, and described his behavior as irrational and erratic. Higgins said he had first started speaking with Dawes during the Libya conflict, when Dawes had recorded footage of warfare. Higgins also said Dawes seemed obsessed with going to Syria. “He sold everything he had, and went into debt and scrapped money for a ticket,” Higgins said.

The Committee to Project Journalists, an advocacy group in New York, has not included Dawes in its list of roughly 25 journalists who are known to be missing in Syria, most of them presumed kidnapped or killed.

Jason Stern, the committee’s senior research associate for the Middle East and North Africa, said Dawes was not included because “we have no evidence that he went to Syria to report as a journalist.”