A Northeastern Indiana boy who was kidnapped by his paternal grandparent in 1994 has been found living in Long Prairie, Minnesota with his wife.
On July 29, 1994, Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was taken by his grandparents. The grandparents were allegedly upset over child custody arrangements for their grandson, so they took the boy who was then 5 years old to an unknown destination.
An investigation was launched and information regarding the boy was released to the public. His details were also given to the missing children clearinghouses and he was considered to be in danger. At that time, arrest warrants were issued for both grandparents. The initial charge was interference with custody, which is a Class B Misdemeanor in Illinois. In 1999, those charges were raised to a Class C felony. In September 2008, the charges were dropped because the boy nor the grandparents had been found.
In September 2012, the boy’s stepfather contacted the Indiana State police, giving them the boy’s Social Security card. After some investigating, it was found that a man in long Prairie was using the same Social Security number and birth date as the missing boy. When the man’s driver’s license was brought up, the photo showed a very close resemblance to the boy.
The information was then provided to the Long Prairie police and the Social Security Administration so that investigations could be conducted. As a result, it was found that the grandparents were living in Browerville under different names. When spoke to, they verified that the man that was found was the kidnapped boy.
The conclusion to the case was reached because of cooperation between multiple agencies. Now the family will be able to reconnect with one another and move on with their lives after 19 years of being apart.