Almost a decade ago, Connecticut police were called to check on a man who'd failed to pick up his wife from the airport. Officers found Robert Hoagland's wallet, cellphone, and blood-pressure medication, but Hoagland himself had seemingly disappeared without a trace, reports NBC News. Over the ensuing years, the disappearance would gain national attention, with features on true-crime podcasts and Investigation Discovery's Disappeared. Still, it wasn't until this week that the case was finally solved, according to Newtown police. Officers say Hoagland moved to upstate New York and changed his name to Richard King before dying on Monday.
New York's Sullivan County Sheriff's Department contacted Newtown police on Monday, saying they'd found papers in the name of Robert Hoagland when responding to a report of "an untimely death" and trying to identify the victim, per NBC. According to CT Insider, Hoagland's roommate in Rock Hill, a hamlet at the base of the Catskill Mountains, had called 911 around 3pm Monday to report a man named Richard King was having a medical emergency. Newtown police have since confirmed the man was Hoagland, who'd been living in Sullivan County since November 2013. He'd been officially last seen buying a map of the eastern US at a gas station in Newtown on July 28 of that year. He didn't turn up for work or to pick up his wife from the JFK Airport the following day.
"Sightings were received and investigated nationwide" to no avail, Newtown police said Wednesday. "He could literally be anywhere," a police lieutenant told the News Times in 2014. "He was living under the radar," Undersheriff Eric Chaboty of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office now tells the outlet. The Newtown police department said it "does not plan to release any further information as there was no criminal aspect" to the disappearance and "no signs of foul play" in the 59-year-old's death. It added the wife and three adult sons Hoagland left behind ask "that their privacy be respected during this difficult time." (More missing person stories.)