63-year-old Richard Hoagland was arrested in Florida on Wednesday for stealing the identity of Terry Symansky and living as him for decades. The real Terry Symansky drowned in 1991.
Richard (as Terry) met and married a woman named Mary Hickman 20 years ago. They had a son and lived as a family in Zephyrhills, Fla.
via NY Daily News:
In April, the real Terry Symansky’s nephew learned through Ancestry.com that someone had assumed his uncle’s identity, and brought it to the attention of the police.
When Hickman was notified, she discovered documents in her home proving her husband was not who she thought he was.
Hoagland, who had two different wives and four children in Indiana, disappeared from his home and was eventually declared dead in 2003.
When he was taken into custody, Hoagland told officers he assumed the identity to get away from his wife, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Hoagland’s ex-wife in Indiana however, informed police her husband said he “had to disappear because he had stolen millions and was wanted by the FBI,” the newspaper reported.
Law officials are currently investigating the claim, but records obtained by the Times show that Hoagland has never been arrested.