TODD COUNTY, Minn. - Michael Landers returned to his rural home just North of Browerville and admitted he was overwhelmed. His story had been repeated nationally thousands of times in the past 24 hours. Landers told several members of the media assembled in his driveway that he's considering making a public statement on Monday.
Authorities say the now 24 year father was abducted by his grandparents in Indiana in 1994, when he was just 5 years old. His name was Richard Landers back then. Indiana State Police were recently given his social security number by his step-father in the Hoosier state and that number was tracked to Todd County, Minnesota.
"We did in fact locate the people here in the county and did interview the grandparents and the missing boy. They did open up and they did indicate that yes, they were living under an assumed name and the grandson is the individual that was abducted in Indiana in 1994," Todd County Sheriff Pete Mikkelson said.
Both the grandparents and their grandson live on the same rural plot of land; there was no sign of the grandparents on Friday.
Indiana State Police, for 19 years, believed the grandparents abducted the boy following a court hearing that was going to decide where he was going to be placed.
On Thursday night, a Michael Landers of Browerville posted a comment to KARE 11's Facebook page that read, in part, "You should find out the whole story, I was where I needed to be. My grandparents were in the right."
On the same comment thread, a Bobbie Landers posted the following: "He had been living under his grandparents care since he was a 6 month old baby. He was where he wanted and needed to be to be safe and become the man he is today, my husband and best friend."
Landers' step-father told an Indiana TV station on Friday that he hoped to meet his 24 year old step-son someday.
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