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
  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

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
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results