January 11, 2013
Over 18 years since he went missing, Richard Wayne Landers Jr. has been found.
Five years old in 1994 - when his paternal grandparents took him away during a custody dispute - the now-24-year old was tracked down this week in Long Prairie, Minnesota, making his mother the "happiest woman on earth" according to her husband, Richard Harter.
While Lisa Harter is yet to actually reunite with Richard, the boy's step-father said she was "jumping up and down for joy" when investigators said he had been found.
Landers' grandparents, living in a nearby Minnesota town under an alias, confirmed the identity of the child they stole so many years ago.
According to the police, they abducted him in July 1994 because they were "upset over pending court proceedings" regarding his placement.
They were charged with "interference," but that count was dismissed in 2008 after the case went cold.
However, it was reopened in September after Richard Harter turned over the Landers' Social Security card to an Indiana State Police detective.
Landers is married and expecting his first child, as authorities say there are no signs he was abused in any way.
It's unclear at the moment whether new charges will be filed against his grandparents.
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