Boy Kidnapped at 5 Turns Up Married, 24
Grandparents allegedly snatched Richard Landers Jr. in 1994
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 11, 2013 1:55 AM CST
Updated Jan 11, 2013 3:00 AM CST
Richard Wayne Landers, Jr., who authorities say was abducted from Indiana by his paternal grandparents in 1994 during custody proceedings.   (AP Photo/Indiana State Police)

(Newser) – Nineteen years ago, the paternal grandparents of a 5-year-old boy allegedly kidnapped him. Now, Richard Landers Jr. has resurfaced, age 24 and married, in Minnesota, the Chicago Tribune reports. He lives under a different name, however—one provided by his grandparents when they took him and managed to stump police. The grandparents, who now use aliases, live just a few miles away. "It’s happened so fast, and we haven’t talked to him yet," says his stepfather. But "we’re going to as soon as we can."

Prior to the abduction, the grandparents "were allegedly upset over pending court proceedings regarding the placement of their grandson," police said. After they vanished in 1994, they were charged with interference with custody, but the charges were dropped when the case remained unsolved in 2008. Then, in September 2012, Landers' stepfather gave police Landers' Social Security card; the number led authorities to the 24-year-old, who seems "well-adjusted." Will he meet his mother again? "That’s going to be up to him," a police spokesman said. “We can’t force him and say, 'Now you’re going back with your mom.' He’s 24 years old." (Click for the story of a man who recently found his sister after a 60-year search.)

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
vwright1
Jan 15, 2013 2:59 AM CST
Those grandparents did something right because he has begun his own family!!and you don,t have the hole story.thanks be to God now he is grown and has a life!!!
toryd
Jan 12, 2013 2:44 AM CST
Too bad we only got half a story here. It would be good to know why the grandparents uprooted their own lives and the child's. Maybe the child was in danger of some sort with his parents (has been known to happen). Many of us would do the same if we had a beloved grandchild who was in danger. The courts don't always do the right thing.
pranaphish
Jan 11, 2013 3:08 PM CST
The real victim in this is the young man who was abducted. His reality has just been shattered. The people he thought loved him the most are in fact selfish criminals who proved that they were no better than the other parent choice through their criminal actions. They would have probably had visitation and partial custody, but they didn't care what was best for this kid, they wanted what they wanted, true signs of immaturity and bad parenting. Parents are supposed to be the ones that deal with the hard things in life so that their kids don't have to...they have just delayed a shit storm and now this kid is going to be hurting more than they would have having partial custody.