Linda and Richard HoaglanPhoto credit: www.indystar.com
Linda and Richard Hoagland|Photo credit: www.indystar.com

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.

Things were going well for the happy couple|Photo credit: www.indystar.com
Things were going well for the happy couple| Photo credit: www.indystar.com

 

About an hour later, the phone rang. It was Richard. “I can’t live this way anymore…” he said, sorrowfully. “I feel you would be better off without me.” Before Linda could even reply, Richard had hung up. Two hours later, he called back from what was likely an airport. “I don’t want to go to jail,” he said. “I’m never coming back…” And he never did.
Richard Hoagland had disappeared on Feb. 10, 1993. His car was found abandoned a few days after his last cryptic call, but his name was not recorded on any of the flights coming in or out of the airport. After that, he called only a few more times, once from Venezuela and once from Aruba. It was all becoming crystal clear; Richard was never coming home.

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.

police began investigating her involvement in Richard’s mysterious departure
police began investigating Linda involvement in Richard’s mysterious departure
Linda tried to tell police that she knew nothing about her husband’s disappearance other than that he called her to say he was never returning. At the end of one of the many interrogations by police, one of the detectives even went so far as to accuse Linda of plotting to take off with her children and meet up with her allegedly missing husband.

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.

Matthew and Doug Hoagland|Photo credit: www.indystar.com
Matthew and Doug Hoagland|Photo credit: www.indystar.com
Before long, Linda had to declare bankruptcy. At the same time, the bank foreclosed on her house and repossessed her van. Their lives had turned upside down by the now missing, Richard Hoagland, and he was nowhere to be found. Linda Iseler had to live in with a friend from church for six months after Richard had left. They had no money, no car, no home, and still, the police were watching her.

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.

In the meantime, Richard Hoagland was living the good life in West Palm Beach, Florida. Apparently, in the course of his travels, Richard had found a death certificate in a house he had been renting. It was then that he realized he could finally cut ties with the life in Indiana he had fought so hard to leave behind. And so, Richard Hoagland became Terry Symansky.

Photo credit: www.indystar.com
Richard Hoaland|Photo credit: www.indystar.com
The real Terry Symansky had died in 1991 of course, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t find a job or a new place to live. As Terry, Richard found love again, married, had a son, and began a new life in West Palm Beach. The truth of his deception was only discovered years later when the real Symansky nephew found that his deceased uncle had gotten remarried and earned a pilot’s license, years after he died.
Last summer, Linda received a call from the detective Anthony Cardillo of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department. “Excuse me, Miss Iseler,” he said. “Do you know who Richard Hoagland is?”  They revealed to Linda that they’d discovered where Richard had ended up and that they had him in custody. He was arrested for using a dead man’s identity.
On July 20, 2016, Pasco County sheriff’s department came to “Terry Symanskys” house and arrested Richard Hoagland. He was taken to the Pasco County jail with a $25,000 bond. Richard was finally brought to justice, not only for his actual crimes but also for the despicable acts he committed by leaving his poor wife and two sons.
Unfortunately, prosecutors hit a bit of snag when they tried to file charges against Richard for the theft he committed when he left Indiana in October of 1993. Officials weren’t able to find the the original file or affidavit that details the initial allegations. These include the false filing of a loan on behalf of Linda and the stolen credit cards, as well as others. In addition to that, Indiana’s statute of limitations on theft is five years. But all is not lost.
Police say that as Terry Symansky, Hoagland remarried and had another son, who was now 19 at the time of his arrest. To this day, Richard’s two families have still not met, though Linda Iseler has said that her “heart goes out to them.” Because she understands fully the impact that loving Richard Hoagland can have on a life and a family.
Tom Markle, who is Linda Isler’s attorney, apparently plans to demand that Richard Hoagland hands over close to $2 million dollars in unpaid child support to his former spouse. That is of course, in addition to the amount that he will likely have to make in restitution for the money he made as the late Terry Symansky. Unfortunately, this burden may fall on his new wife and 19-year-old son.
Courtesy of Life Daily|Image by www.indystar.com

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