A U.S. airman missing from his North Dakota base for 40 years has been found — leading a double life in Florida with a new name.
Jeffrey Michels failed to report for duty at Minot Air Force Base on July 6, 1977 and hadn’t been seen since, WFTV reported. He was recently found living in Seminole County with a wife and kids under the alias Jeffrey Lantz.
Investigators said he went by the name for years and used it in 1998 to get a license from the state of Florida for his construction business — Atlantic Development Corporation. Michels also used the fake name to buy a home in a Terra Bella neighborhood, according to the news station.
The 64-year-old Ohio native was arrested Thursday on charges of desertion and is in the custody of the United States Air Force.
Because there is no statute of limitations for the charge, Michels will stand trial in military court.
His photo in July was posted by the Facebook group “Veteran Doe” — a page aimed at bringing “attention to the many missing veteran/active duty cases and unidentified person cases where there is a possible military connection.”
The post was deleted when Michels was discovered, Fox News reported. It is unclear whether the Facebook post prompted the Air Force to investigate Michel’s disappearance.