Local News

Indiana boy abducted in '94 found in Minnesota

Police say paternal grandparents abducted boy during custody dispute

WOLCOTTVILLE, Ind. - An Indiana woman whose son was abducted 19 years ago was "jumping up and down" after learning he'd been located in Minnesota living under a different name.

Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was 5 years old when he was abducted by his paternal grandparents during a custody dispute.

Indiana State Police said Thursday the now 24-year-old man was found in Long Prairie, Minn. His grandparents were living nearby under aliases and confirmed his identity.

The grandparents were initially charged with custody interference, but charges were dropped in 2008 after the case went cold.

Richard Harter said his wife, Lisa, was "jumping up and down in joy" when she learned in recent days her son had been found. Harter said she's "the happiest woman on earth."

Police said Landers is married and expecting his first child.

Harter gave his stepson's Social Security card to investigators. He was located in October after police found a 24-year-old man with the same Social Security number and birth date as Landers but living under a different name in Minnesota.

Police spokesman Sgt. Ron Galaviz said Landers' father was never in the picture. Galaviz said an attorney is working with Landers' mother to reconnect her with her son.

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