SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL — An Air Force veteran who disappeared more than four decades ago has been taken into custody after it was discovered he had been living a double life in Florida.Jeffrey Michels, 64, was reported missing after he vanished while on active duty from the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on July 6, 1977.
He has been found using the name Jeffrey Lantz and residing in Seminole County, Florida, with his wife and children.
Investigators said that Michels utilized the last name Lantz on several legal and business documents shortly after his disappearance, including on a business license in 1998 when he set up his construction company, Atlantic Development Corporation.
Police were reportedly tipped off by an investigative group for missing veterans using the Facebook page “Veteran Doe.” The group posted a picture of Michels in July.
Michels was arrested Thursday and is currently in custody of the United States Air Force.
He initially faced charges of desertion, but since the statute of limitations for desertion has expired, Michels will stand trial in a military court, according to authorities.
Lt. John P. Longmire told local media that Michels was brought back onto active duty at his previous rank of E-3 and given a “discharge under ‘Other Than Honorable’ conditions.”
The identity of his wife and children have not been released, according to WFTV.
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Main photo: Jeffrey Michels [Seminole County Sheriff]