A man who was abducted by his paternal grandparents more than 21 years ago is standing up for the people who raised him
Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was just 5 years old when his grandparents abducted him and hid him away for nearly two decades.
Although the boy had been living with his grandparents since birth, a custody dispute with his mother threatened to change all that.
According to KARE 11, in 1994 the Landers family fled from Indiana with Richard to escape the boy’s mother and stepfather, who were both reportedly unemployed and living out of their car at the time of the custody battle.
“I was where I needed to be,” Landers said. “My “grandparents” were in the the right I don’t care what anyone else thinks. signed Richard Wayne Landers.”
After kidnapping their grandson, Richard E. and Ruth A. Landers changed their names to Raymond Michael Iddings and Susan Kay Iddings.
Although the pair had originally been charged with abduction with interference with custody, the case soon went cold when police couldn’t track down the family.
However, the case was reopened in 2012, when Richard Harter, the child’s stepfather, turned over the boy’s Social Security card to an Indiana State Police detective.
According to CBS News, that move turned up a man with the same Social Security number and date of birth living in Long Prairie, about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
When Richard was found in 2013, he was reportedly 24 years old and expecting his first child with his wife.
To this day, he’s fiercely protective of his grandparents, the couple that raised him, despite the fact that they faced charges for kidnapping him.