Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

January 11, 2013

Abducted boy found after 19 years

Police say a LaGrange County boy abducted by his paternal grandparents in 1994 has been found in Long Prairie, Minn.

Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was located “living, married and well,” Indiana State Police reported Thursday. ISP spokesman Sgt. Ron Galaviz said an attorney is working with Landers’ mother, Lisa Harter, to reconnect her with her son.

ISP Detective Jeff Boyd said that on July 29, 1994, Landers was abducted by his grandparents, Richard E. and Ruth A. Landers. The elder Landers were reportedly upset over pending court proceedings regarding the placement of their grandson.

According to police, the Landers took the then-5-year-old boy and left from their home in the Wolcottville area.

Arrest warrants were issued for both grandparents, who were charged with interference with custody, a Class B Misdemeanor. In 1999, those charges were elevated to Class C Felony interference.

Police said that in September 2008, with neither the child nor his grandparents ever having been located, LaGrange County prosecutors dropped the charges.

Years of searching

In the years after the abduction, several detectives worked with the parents of Richard W. Landers in continuing efforts to locate their missing son.

In September of last year, the boy’s stepfather, Richard Harter, contacted State Police Detective Deven Hostetler and provided him with the young Richard’s Social Security card. Police said that upon further investigation, a man in Long Prairie, Minn., was found using that same Social Security number and date of birth as the missing LaGrange County boy. Police said the man’s driver’s license photograph even appeared to bear a potentially similar resemblance as to how the missing boy might look today.

Detective Hostetler contacted Boyd with this information and in October 2012, Boyd presented the information to the Long Prairie Police Department. Long Prairie police, along with the Todd County Sheriff Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration conducted follow-up investigations, many of which are still ongoing.

Police said the grandparents, who were living in Browerville, Minn., under aliases, indicated their true identities and verified that the young man who was found was indeed Richard Wayne Landers Jr., now 24 years old.

“He was actually raised under an alias,” Galaviz said Thursday afternoon of the younger Landers.

The Goshen News reached Richard Harter at his home in LaGrange Thursday afternoon. He declined comment and referred questions to his attorney, Richard K. Muntz. The News was unable to reach Muntz or the LaGrange County prosecutor Thursday.

LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin expressed relief with the latest development in a nearly two-decades-old missing person case.

“It’s nice to put closure to this case and now the family can begin the process of re-connecting with their loved one,” Martin said.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Police & Rescue News Person injured in fall at Goshen business

    Someone has been injured in a fall at Hoosier Interior Doors along Goshen’s East Lincoln Avenue.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Press Release 04-23-2014 J.jpg SLIDESHOW: Police need help ID'ing suspects The Goshen Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying suspects wanted for questioning in relation to a number of thefts from retail stores throughout Indiana. The four individuals have stolen over $25,000 worth of merchandise, according to law enforcement. The men are believed to be African-American and have been seen fleeing in a white Dodge Ram or another white pickup truck with a white cap which may have Florida license plates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Goshen Police Department at 574-533-8661 or Michiana CrimeStoppers at 800-342-STOP.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

    Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News No injuries in Concord Township fire

    Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested

    A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
    Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa

    A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140416 Leesburg crash Driver critically injured in Kosciusko County crash

    A one-vehicle crash injured two men — one critically — south of Leesburg Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred on C.R. 150 West just south of C.R. 400 North around 5 p.m.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results