A 24-year-old man has been found by authorities in Minnesota nearly 20 years after he was abducted by his paternal grandparents from Indiana in 1994. The Associated Press reports that Richard Wayne Landers Jr. has been living in the small town of Long Prairie, Minn. under the assumed name of Michael Jeff Landers.
Indiana State Police say Landers was taken by his grandparents at 5-years-old because they were upset over custody arrangements with the boy’s mother. Landers lived with his grandparents from birth and when the court determined he should spend more time with his mother, they fled.
Landers was eventually found through his Social Security number after his case had gone cold. Living under the assumed names of Raymond and Susan Iddings, the grandparents confirmed Landers’ identity to Minnesota authorities. They had originally been charged with felony interference in custody but charges were dropped in 2008.
When investigators told Lisa Harter, Landers’ mother, a few days ago that her son had been found she was “jumping up and down for joy,” with her husband saying his wife is “the happiest women on earth.”