A married father who vanished from his home 23 years ago has been found living with a new family under the stolen identity of a dead fisherman.
Richard Hoagland never returned home to his wife and two sons after calling home and telling them he needed to be taken to hospital in 1993. He was declared legally dead in 2003 and wife Linda went on to remarry.
But Hoagland had slipped under the radar and secretly moved 1,000 miles of the family home in Indianapolis to the quiet town of Zephyrhills, Florida. He remarried and had another child under the identity of Terry Symansky - a fisherman who died in 1991.
Hoagland was exposed when the real Mr Symansky's nephew was researching on ancestry.com and found a marriage record stating his uncle had wed four years after his death.
The 63-year-old was arrested an is now facing a string of fraud charges.
|His two grown sons had no idea he was still alive|
His third wife, Mary Hickman, found a briefcase stuffed with documents relating to his real identity after his arrest.
Second wife Linda told ABC how she never saw him again after the panicked phone call in 1993.
She said: "He called me at work and told me that he was ill… and that he needed to go to the emergency room. I said, 'Well, why don’t you just wait, and I’ll go with you?' He said, 'No, I don’t have time to wait'."
Symansky, a childless and unmarried fisherman, died in 1991 in a freak accident.
Hoagland rented an apartment from his father and started using the identity when the landlord died .
Pasco County police branded him a 'selfish coward' for his two-decade-long deceit.
Sheriff Chris Nocco, said: "This is a person who has lived his life destroying others."
He told officers he wanted to get away from his second wife but could not contemplate another divorce, Mirror.co.uk reports.