There is one happy ending to an abducted child story.
A boy who went missing when he was age 5 has been found 19 years later living under a different name 680 miles away in Minnesota, police told the Associated Press.
Richard Landers Jr. was a little boy when he disappeared at the same time his grandparents, Richard and Ruth Landers, left their trailer in Wolcottville, Ind., 30 miles from Fort Wayne, taking only a few suitcases of clothes with them, and then changed their names.
The disappearance came days before Landers' mother, who was fighting for custody of her son, was supposed to take him for a week-long visit. The grandparents fled because they were upset with custody arrangements, according to Police Spokesman Sgt. Ron Galaviz.
Detectives tracked down family members as far away as Washington State and monitored a cabin in Michigan, but to no avail. The case went cold in 2008.
Galaviz, who declined to release Landers' real name, said the 24-year-old man appears to be well-adjusted and that there are no signs of any abuse over the years.
Landers' mother, Lisa Harter, screamed and was "jumping up and down for joy" when she learned a few days ago that her son had been found, her husband Richard Harter told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday. He said his wife is "the happiest woman on earth."
Harter said he and his wife were working with an attorney and hoped to reunite with his stepson soon.
Galaviz said it appears the boy's natural father was never in the picture.
Landers, who lives in Long Prarie, is married and expecting his first child.
This past September, Landers' stepfather went to the Indiana State Police with the missing child's social security card, according to the Indianapolis Star. When police used the numbers to find him in Minnesota, Landers admitted his identity.
His grandparents, also living under aliases, live in Browerville, 8 miles north of Long Prairie. They verified the Minnesota man was Landers. Police would not say how long the three lived in the area.
At the time of Landers' disappearance, the grandparents were charged with misdemeanor interference with custody, which was bumped up to a felony in 1999. The charge was dismissed in 2008 after the case was closed. Police are again investigating the case and declined to say whether new charges will be brought against them, according to the Indianapolis Star.
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