Man Declared Dead in 1986 Found Alive
Family members didn't know Ronald Stan's real story
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 26, 2014 4:50 PM CDT
A police officer stands outside an Ontario courthouse in this file photo.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

(Newser) – In 1977, a man went missing after a barn fire in Ontario; in 1986, with no sign of him, authorities declared Ronald Stan dead. Turns out they were wrong: He has now turned up again after decades, and he's living in Oklahoma, CTV reports. Stan went missing at age 32. He's now known as Jeff Walton, and he's 69, CTV notes. Police say they can't offer information as to why he went missing. "I’m still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together myself," Walton's son, Jeff Jr., tells the Toronto Star. Walton Jr. learned of his father's previous identity this month from police; his stepmother hadn't known, either.

One uncle in Canada, however, does appear to have seen Stan in 1997: "He came up when his dad died," the uncle says. How police found him isn't entirely clear; the case was reopened in a routine audit, the Star notes, and new police methods solved it. "There's a lot that's available to us now for investigative tools that wasn't available to us back in 1977. As a result, we were able to connect the dots, essentially, and lead us to the state of Oklahoma," an officer tells that paper, per the New York Daily News. "It’s been tough on me, but he’s still my father," says the son of Walter/Stan. "It doesn’t change the man I knew for 35 years." No criminal charges are expected. (Elsewhere, police suspect a champion boat racer faked his own death.)

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
julianpenrod
Aug 26, 2014 11:48 PM CDT
Apparently, it's not necessarily difficult to withhold a significant amount of information even from well enabled forces that are looking. How much less when someone isn't looking. How much less even than that when gullible individuals are ordered to believe what they are told and blame themselves as fools if something arises that makes them think the “official story” is wrong. Commonly found in successes like convincing the people that Spain sank the U.S.S. Maine; that the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” was real; that America didn't use jets to spy on Russia; that the “Nayirah” fraud was real; that chemtrails aren't real; that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died skidding couple of hundred feet along a race track at about 140 miles per hour in 2001; that a ragtag group of dissidents would carry out the kind of operation that was as assured to bring down major military reprisal as September 11; that Bill Clinton didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky; that Vince Foster killed himself; that there were banned weapons systems in Iraq; that Robin Williams hanged himself from a doorknob; that ISIS beheaded James Foley. And the rich, famous, popular, influential, powerful don't die. As self centered as they prove themselves, if they felt death was inevitable, they would be catatonic. They know how to avoid it. The gullible are trained to think that, when they see Marilyn Monroe or Diana Spencer of John F. Kennedy walking around that it must, absolutely must, be the case that they are mistaken.
Calamity_Jean
Aug 26, 2014 10:16 PM CDT
I'd sure like to know what was his motive for vanishing.
Papa_Umawmaw
Aug 26, 2014 8:17 PM CDT
"its been tough on me.." says the son. why? what difference does it make? no charges laid. man up ffs. what a waste of resources "connecting the dots".