Married dad who vanished 23 years ago found living with new family under stolen identity

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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

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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.

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He remarried and had another child under the
identity of Terry Symansky – a fisherman who died
in 1991.

But 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.

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The 63-year-old was arrested an is now facing a
string of fraud charges.
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.

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