After 25 years, an Indiana family finally has some closure on the mysterious disappearance of one of its members.
Richard Hoagland vanished in 1993, leaving behind two young sons and a wife. Police found his car in an airport parking lot, but airline records showed no signs of Hoagland on any of their flights.
The state of Indiana declared him dead in 2003, and his wife remarried.
To everyone’s shock, Hoagland was recently discovered alive and well and living in Florida under an assumed name. After leaving Indiana, Hoagland rented an apartment from an elderly man who’d lost his son. Hoagland took the deceased son’s death certificate and used it to obtain a birth certificate. He used that, in turn, to procure a driver’s license. Using the new identity, he bought property and even remarried and had a child.
The nephew of the deceased man discovered the ruse while searching Ancestry.com. He spotted his uncle’s name, but he knew that his uncle had passed away. He alerted the authorities, who confronted Hoagland. The whole story came out. He claimed that he left Indiana to get away from his wife.
He eventually served two years in a federal prison for his crimes.
Now that he’s back in Indiana, his ex-wife has sued him for child support. A judge awarded her and the sons he abanded $1.86 million. Unfortunately, all of Hoagland’s current assets are tied up — he and his wife in Florida are going through a divorce.