Details of the case of an Indiana boy abducted in 1994 emerge, as he is found alive. For the last 19 years he was living in Minnesota, for some of that time under a different name.We reported about Richard Wayne Landers Jr.'s alleged abduction yesterday. The man, now going by the name Michael Jeff Landers, lives in Browerville, Minnesota.
He defends his grandparents, who he says were “in the right” to take him away from his unemployed mother. She lost full custody of him the year he vanished, and was only allowed to see him in the weekends.
They took him away from his birth mother in the midst of a heated custody battle, Daily Mail reports. Landers chose to change his name when he turned 18 years old, in November 2006.
According to LaGrange County Sheriff's Department's John R. Russell, the child was living in a car, with his mother Lisa Harter and his stepfather, in '94.
Harter's attorney Richard Muntz responds that the family only lived in that car for three days, while seeking an apartment.
He adds that the mother and son were accompanied by his biological father. The father suffered from mild developmental disabilities, and eventually moved to an assisted living facility.
Harter petitioned for her full custody rights, when she married Landers's stepfather, which is when his grandparents took him and fled the state.
“For you people who jump to conclusions you should find out the whole story I was where I needed to be. My grandparents were in the the right I don't care what anyone else thinks,” a user believed to be Landers posted on KARE's Facebook page.
“His grandparents didn't follow the law, but they did what was right. Sometimes, our US laws don't help or protect the people they should. He was 5. He remembers his birth parents and what they were like.
“He had been living under his grandparents care since he was a 6 month old baby. He was where he wanted and needed to be to be safe and become the man he is today, my husband and best friend,” user Bobby Landers, identifying herself as Richard's wife, wrote on Facebook.