Man Who Mysteriously Vanished Turns Up Dead a Decade Later Under New Name

Newtown Police Department
Newtown Police Department

A Connecticut man who mysteriously disappeared nearly a decade ago in a high-profile case that was featured on a missing persons’ TV program was found dead on Monday in Upstate New York, where he’d been living under a new name.

Connecticut authorities announced the shocking discovery on Wednesday, saying the long-missing Robert Hoagland—who disappeared without a trace on July 28, 2013—had been found after cops in Rock Hill, New York, responded to his home for an “untimely death notification.”

New York investigators were told the dead man’s name was Richard King and that he’d lived in Sullivan County since 2013. A search of records revealed, however, that the name was a pseudonym.

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Cops reportedly spotted paperwork that mentioned the name “Robert Hoagland”—the same man who disappeared from Newtown, Connecticut, on a seemingly random day when he was supposed to pick up a family member from the airport and go to work, the Hartford Courant reported. Authorities from Connecticut traveled to New York and confirmed that Mr. King was actually Hoagland, police said.

Hoagland was last spotted in Newtown pumping gas, the paper reported, with a few unconfirmed sightings elsewhere in town. A family member filed a missing persons report once Hoagland didn’t show at the airport, which led Newtown police to search his home. Police said in 2013 they found his wallet, cell phone, medication, and the family cars still there.

Hoagland’s mysterious disappearance garnered national attention, namely from Investigation Discovery’s show Disappeared, which did a segment on his case.

A massive manhunt for Hoagland reportedly included volunteers searching wooded areas along with police dogs. Newtown police even used sonar to search the nearby Lake Zoar later in 2013—all to no effect.

Newton police said Wednesday that Hoagland’s death—unlike his disappearance—was uneventful, with no foul play suspected. Hoagland was in his late 50s or early 60s, the Courant reported, citing cops.

Police have not said why they believe Hoagland wished to skip town without a trace.

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