He was abducted by his grandparents, you won’t believe what he did when he found out the truth! – Legitpost.com.ng
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He was abducted by his grandparents, you won’t believe what he did when he found out the truth!

“He was abducted by his grandparents at age five. You won’t believe what he did when he found out the truth. A man abducted by his grandparents at the age of five lives next door to them with his new wife and is preparing to be a father himself.

The impression of a close and happy family life was emerging in the case of Richard Landers Jr., now 24, who was kidnapped by his grandparents as a young child.

Police found the grandparents and Landers almost 19 years after he went missing, in an operation praised by his parents Lisa Harder and Richard Landers Senior, who had almost given up hope of seeing him again.


But both Landers and his new wife have praised, rather than criticized, his parents in a Facebook post. Bobby Landers said his grandparents kept her husband safe as a child. His grandparents didn’t follow the law, but they did what was right. Sometimes our U.S laws don’t help or protect the people they should.

He was five, he remembers his birth parents and what they were like. It said he had been living under his grandparents’ care since he was a six-month-old baby. He was where he wanted and needed to be, safe and become the man he is today. My husband and best friend, rather than the appearance of someone held against his will.


Landers, who changed his name to Michael himself at age 18, has defended the grandparents who kidnapped and raised him. He is now preparing to be a father himself with his wife Bobby, who has two sons from a previous relationship.

They all live on one plot of land in Long Prairie, just outside Browerville, Minnesota, and the young couple have been happily posting on Facebook about their upcoming birth of their child. In one post, Bobby writes, ‘Mike had a girl’s name picked out since he was younger, so I feel like that’s a sign too. He wants a little tom-girl, and having two boys, I can’t really see myself having a girly girl. Can’t wait till we find out.’


They are clearly close to Lander’s grandparents, who live alongside them under the aliases Raymond Michael Iddings and Susan K Ittings, rather than Richard E and Ruth A Landers as they were called at the time of the abduction. Raymond Iddings has worked since 1999 as a herdsman at Twin Eagle Dairy in nearby Clarissa, where owner Patrick Luneman described him as a dedicated, faithful employee.

Luneman said he was in shock when he read a story about the case. He said Iddings plays guitar at his church and recalled a day last summer when the couple brought their instruments to play for dairy workers. He said he knew Michael slightly, saying he stopped in occasionally, perhaps to drop off Idding’s lunch if he had forgotten it. Landers works at an auto parts place that fits him perfectly because Rey is kind of a motorhead, and Michael is the same way, Luneman said.

But behind the image of a close and happy family living in a small town, the couple had a secret, which has now been revealed. Lander’s grandparents fled with five-year-old Richard during a custody dispute with his mother Lisa Harder in July 1994, from Wolcottville, Indiana. Harder, who has mild developmental disabilities, divorced Lander’s father. His parents obtained custody after Harder moved into a group home that could not accommodate children, according to an attorney for Lander’s mother, Richard Muntz.


After a while, she moved into an apartment and gained custody of her son on weekends, and she filed a petition to expand her custody rights when she remarried, he said. The judge gave her custody on a trial basis, and before she could get him, that’s when they left.

Munster said the grandparents withdrew five thousand dollars out of a home equity line, went out for breakfast, and left town. The trail on this case went cold the day they disappeared. There was no trace of them after they left the restaurant, he said. The grandparents were charged with misdemeanor interference with custody, which was bumped up to a felony in 1999. But the charge was dismissed in 2008 after the case went cold.


Investigators reopened the case in September after a conversation between Richard Harter, Lisa Harder’s new partner, and an Indiana State Police detective who attended the same church prompted another search of Lander’s Social Security number.

A young man living in the state of Minnesota actually was using this Social Security number, but what was really interesting was that doing further checking on who this person was, he had the same exact date of birth as the boy who was listed as missing back in 1994. Indiana State Police then contacted Minnesota law enforcement agencies, which began investigating along with the FBI and the Social Security Administration.

Sheriff Peter Mickelson said the case will now be forwarded to federal authorities for possible charges. Landers, pictured for the first time outside the family plot on Friday, defended his grandparents. Although it is not clear how much of his backstory he was told, in a posting believed to be a message from Lander’s Facebook account to the Minneapolis television station CARE’s Facebook page, he said they did well by him. ‘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 right. I don’t care what anyone else thinks,’ he says.


According to court records, Landers applied for the name change himself in November 2006. The application doesn’t say why he requested the change. Other witnesses from the time have also defended the grandparents.

John R. Russell, who spent several months investigating the disappearance with the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department in Indiana, said Lander’s mother and stepfather were unemployed and lived in a car at the time. ‘I just knew that they were not the kind of people that were going to see that he got hurt at all, so… But it was wrong,’ Russell said. ‘But I also didn’t think the child would be in any danger at all with them. It’s just too bad that that many years have gone by, but I am really happy that he was found and everything is okay.’


Harder’s attorney has refuted the claims and said she spent only three days living in a car, and it was with Lander’s biological father. Both parents said they were delighted following the news that their son had been found. Richard Harder said his wife was the happiest woman on earth on hearing the news he was found.

‘We always just kept it in the back of our minds that we believed we were going to see him again,’ said Richard Lander Senior, who was speaking to CARE after hearing the news. ‘Until I get to actually walk up and say hello to him again, I don’t know if it’s going to be real,’ he added. He has also said that he hopes to re-establish contact with his parents.

A spokeswoman with the U.S Attorney’s Office in Minnesota, Jean Cooney, said charges in such a case could be related to non-custodial kidnapping, whether the child was exploited, abused, trafficked, or being used to obtain benefits. The small town is buzzing with news. Rich Wahl, a retired jeweler, said some residents speculated that some people knew of Lander’s history but kept quiet.


He said it was the most notable news since a grisly triple homicide there in 2003. ‘My grandson called last night and said Long Prairie made the news again,’ Wahl said. [Music] If you liked the video, please give it a thumbs up and consider sharing it with someone who may find it interesting.

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