Father Who Disappeared 23 Years Ago Found Living 1,000 Miles Away With New Family

Richard Hoagland assumed the identity of Terry Symansky (Picture: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)
A father of four abandoned his wife and children to start a completely new life more than 1,000 miles away. For more than 20 years, Richard Hoagland lived a lie – assuming the identity of a dead man and marrying again, for a third time.

Linda Iseler, his second wife, and four children from two marriages, thought he was long dead. So Ms Iseler was shocked when she received a call from a detective telling her Hoagland, now 63, was alive and in custody, ABC News reported.

Chris Nocco, the sheriff in Pasco County, Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times: ‘This is a selfish coward. This is a person who has lived his life destroying others.’
Ms Iseler (pictured with her second husband) eventually moved on (Credit: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)
Hoagland vanished in 1993, leaving Ms Iseler, who he had been married to for 11 years, and their sons Matthew, nine, and Douglas, six, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ms Iseler told ABC News: ‘How do you walk away from your own children? How do you turn your back?’

That year, both boys received a birthday card from their father, but that was the last they heard of him for 23 years. In 2003, Hoagland was declared dead, and Ms Iseler eventually remarried – before she was told earlier this year that Hoagland was still alive.
Matthew Hoagland hasn’t seen his father since 1993 (Picture: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)
His brother Doug was also abandoned (Picture: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)
In the meantime, he had settled in Zerphyrhills, Florida, and assumed the identity of Terry Symansky, a fisherman who died in a boating accident in 1991. Hoagland married a woman named Mary in 1995 and they had a child.

But he was rumbled when Symansky’s family used the family history site Ancestry.com and found their dead relative had somehow got married again. Hoagland’s new family were stunned, as he claimed he disappeared due to ‘family issues’ in Indiana.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including identity fraud and is awaiting trial.

Credit: Metro, UK

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