WOLCOTTVILLE — A boy abducted from northeast Indiana by his paternal grandparents 19 years ago has been located living married in Minnesota.
Indiana State Police said Thursday that Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was abducted July 29, 1994, from Wolcottville, about 35 miles northwest of Fort Wayne, during court proceedings over his custody.
During the years following the abduction, several detectives worked with the parents of Richard W. Landers in continuing efforts to locate their missing son, Indiana State Police said. In September 2012, the boy’s stepfather, Richard Harter, contacted State Police Det. Deven Hostetler and provided him with the young Richard’s Social Security card. After conducting some further investigation, a man in Long Prairie, Minn., was found using that same Social Security number and date of birth as the missing boy from LaGrange County. The man’s driver’s license photograph even appeared to bear a potentially similar resemblance as to how the missing boy might look today.
According to State Police, the boy was allegedly abducted in 1994 by his grandparents, Richard E. and Ruth A. Landers. The paternal grandparents, living under aliases in nearby Browerville, Minn., confirmed his identity, police said. Long Prairie is about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Felony charges of interference with custody against the grandparents were dropped in 2008.
ISP Sgt. Ron Galaviz says an attorney for Landers' mother was working to reconnect her with her son.