Putting the “dead” in “deadbeat”

An Indiana man who left his family, moved across the country and started a new life with a dead man’s stolen identity has been ordered to pay almost $2 million in unpaid child support:

Linda Iseler said her ex-husband, Richard Hoagland, called her at work on Feb. 10, 1993, to say he was leaving her. She then raced to get the couple’s 6-year-old son, Douglas, at day care before returning to the family’s five-bedroom home in Fishers, where their 9-year-old son, Matthew, was already home alone, the Indianapolis Star reports.

“I can’t live this way anymore,” Hoagland told Iseler, she recalled in a journal. “I feel you would be better off without me.”

Later that evening, Hoagland sealed the family’s fate for good, telling Iseler: “I don’t want to go to jail. I’m never coming back.”

Hoagland cruelly and inexplicably kept his word, eventually remarrying and fathering another son using the name of a dead man whose identity he stole in Florida. But the family’s decades-long quest for answers and justice came to an end on May 14 when a judge ordered Hoagland to pay $1.86 million in back child support, including the maximum allowable annual interest of 18 percent.

[…]

In 2016, Hoagland’s web of deceit collapsed in Zephyrhills, where he was living as Symanksy until he met a police detective in his driveway.

“He told me he was Terry Symanksy,” Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Detective Anthony Cardillo told the newspaper in 2016. “He showed me his driver’s license and gave me the Social Security number for Terry Symansky. Then I showed him the death certificate.”

Hoagland later admitted to living as Symansky and remarrying. He also fathered another son, who was 19 at the time of his father’s arrest. Along with his new wife, Hoagland bought property in Florida and obtained a private pilot’s license. He also owned an airplane, according to the newspaper.

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