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Ronald Stan found alive after 37 years: Witness recalls fire and search for body

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When Ronald Stan was thought to have perished in an Ontario barn fire back in 1977, the fire department went through great lengths to recover his human remains, but it was to no avail. They searched the charred rubble and found nothing resembling a human body.

Little did retired fire fighter Jim Walsh know that 37 years later, Stan would be found alive and living a new life under an assumed name, reports the Canada Journal on Aug. 26. He was found in the U.S. living a totally new life, not even his family members knew he was alive.

For 37 years Stan’s family thought he was dead, they had him declared dead nine years after that fire in which they thought he had perished. At the time of the fire Stan was 32-years-old and Walsh says he remembers that fire well, even though it was almost four decades ago, according to the Travelers Today.

Walsh said the fire fighters donned in boots dug through the burned-out remains of that barn finding “dead pigs and so-on,” but after doing their very best at searching through the charred piles, no human remains could be found.

With new technology at their disposal, the Middlesex County OPP conducted some routine audits and this was one case that they decided to reopen and do some searching for Ronald Stan. It was a good call because their investigation led to a man in Oklahoma living under the name Jeff Walton.

Walton, whose real name is Ronald Stan, is now 69 and he has been living a new life since the day of the fire when his family and friends thought he had perished. While the authorities won’t discuss Stan’s motives for disappearing and letting people believe he perished in that fire, he is not facing any charges today.

The Ontario authorities notified the missing man’s family members of Stan’s whereabouts. They have also closed the case.