Linda and Richard Hoagland were living happily in Indiana with their two sons, 9-year-old Matthew and six-year-old Douglas. Things were going well for the happy couple. Sure, they had their arguments over money, the kids, things like that, but it was nothing that couldn’t be solved with some talking and compromise.
But it seemed that all outward appearances were deceiving. Richard Hoagland was hiding something deep down inside. Something that he believed couldn’t be fixed if he remained with his wife and family. The husband and father became more manic, retreating to corners of the house to be by himself. But his family had no idea what he was planning…
On Feb. 10, 1993, Linda had gone to work at a medical office, just like she had every Wednesday before it. Around 4:45 p.m., Richard called his wife at the office and told her he had to go to the emergency room, he wasn’t feeling right. She said that she could leave work and go with him if he wanted, but he said he was fine.
Linda took that to mean that it wasn’t something life threatening and finished out her day, thinking that she would go to the hospital later after she had sorted out what to do with the kids. She picked up little Douglas from daycare on the way home and arrived at their house at about 5:25 pm. To her shock and dismay, she found that Richard had left Matthew home alone when he went to the emergency room.
Linda Iseler was struggling already with her husband’s sudden and unceremonious disappearance when the police began investigating her involvement in Richard’s mysterious departure. They often came by the house, asking odd questions. She was sure they thought that she had something to do with whatever had “happened” to Richard.
Even worse than the accusations was the knowledge that not only had Richard Hoagland left her and her sons with no money and the collective pile of debt they had both accrued, he had also maxed out all of their credit cards. Richard had even forged her signature on a bank loan before he left town. Before long, the mortgages, car payments, and other bills were piling up, out of control.
A second interview took place a few years after the first incident and resulted in the police watching Linda’s house and her family’s comings and goings for six months. She even found that someone was opening her mail and that she’d return home from work with items in her house out of place. Even her phone was bugged.