A Canadian man, identified as Ronald Stan, has been found living in the U.S. under a different name. Taking up residence in Oklahoma, Stan, declared dead in 1977 after a barn fire, was found living a nearly four decade lie.
Writes CBC News: “Ontario Provincial Police in Middlesex County said in September 1977 that Ronald Stan, 32 at the time, was reported missing following a barn fire in the former Township of East Williams, 35 kilometers west of London. The OPP and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal investigated the fire. In 1986, nearly nine years after Stan disappeared, he was declared dead by the courts.”
Police in Canada reopened the missing person's case last month under a routine closed-case audit. Stan's body was never recovered, and although he was officially declared dead, a little digging revealed that Stan, now 69, was living in Oklahoma as Jeffrey Walton.
The OPP says they do not plan to press charges against Stan, though we imagine the missing man has quite a bit of explaining to do.
Writes the Daily Mail: “OPP Constable Laurie Houghton told MailOnline that Walton left behind family in Canada and that they have been informed of his whereabouts in America. U.S. authorities have also been made aware of Walton's disappearance, but Houghton would not say whether they were independently investigating.”
“I can't speak to his motives,” Houghton said. “There's a lot that's available to us now for investigative tools that wasn't available to us back in 1977. As a result, we were able to connect the dots, essentially, and lead us to the state of Oklahoma,” adding that there is “no basis for any charges under the Criminal Code Canada.”
The star.com out of Canada, which carried a photo of Stan and his current wife Debra Proctor, spoke extensively to Stan’s son, 35-year-old Jeff Walton Jr., who just learned that his father is not who he says he is. Walton Jr. said his mother Debra filed for divorce when she found out the news.
“I’m still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together myself,” said the younger Walton. “It’s been tough on me, but he’s still my father. It doesn’t change the man I knew for 35 years. Hopefully one day he can sit down and write a book and remember all the stuff he’s been through in his life. It’d be a damn good book I’ll tell you that, just from what I’ve heard.”
For more on Stan the mystery man, head over to the star.com.