It turned out that Richard hadn’t died at all. The husband had taken over the identity of another man. He travelled from Indianapolis to the small town of Zephyrhills in Florida, more than 1600 kilometres away from his old hometown.
He remarried under the name Terry Smyanky, a fisherman who died in an accident in 1991. Later on, he had a child with his new wife. Richard had managed to ‘steal’ Terry’s identity by renting his father’s flat and stealing his son’s death certificate when Terry’s father died. Terry’s nephew unravelled the secret when he wanted to find out more about his uncle and found out he was married four years after his death. The 63-year-old Richard was soon arrested, after which his current wife found a suitcase containing information about the true identity of her husband. The woman decided to inform Linda Hoagland, who of course did not see this coming at all. In the meantime, Richard has given an explanation for his actions; he wanted a divorce from Linda but wanted to separate in this way. Richard is now facing several convictions for fraud.