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10th Dec 2022

Man who vanished in 2013 found dead in New York with new name

Steve Hopkins

Robert Hoagland’s family had no idea what happened to him

A man who disappeared without a trace almost a decade ago has been found dead in upstate New York, where he had been reportedly living under a new name.

Robert Hoagland — whose disappearance featured in an episode of the Investigation Discovery series “Disappeared” — had not been seen since the morning of 28 July 2013, at a gas station in Newtown, Connecticut.

The 59-year-old was reported missing the following day when he failed to pick up his wife from the airport, and did not show up for work.

Police found the family car, Robert’s wallet, medication, and cellphone at the family home and were at a loss as to what happened to him.

The investigation remained open and sighting were reported and investigated as the story received considerable publicity.

Nearly 10 years later, the Newtown Police Department was contacted by Sullivan County, NY, Sheriff’s Department “with possible information on the whereabouts of Robert Hoagland”, a police statement reads.

The dept had responded to the “untimely death” of a man in Rock Hill earlier this week and found papers bearing the name Robert Hoagland at the scene.

Newtown detectives met with Sullivan County sheriff’s officials on Tuesday to confirm Hoagland’s identity and learned he had been living in Sullivan County since around November 2013 – four months after he was last seen in Connecticut – and had been using the name Robert King.

An autopsy, police said, revealed no signs of foul play in his death.

Newtown police confirmed Wednesday there was “no criminal aspect” to Hoagland’s disappearance, and that no further information would be released out of respect to his family.

“It’s pretty confusing,” Hoagland’s son, Christopher Hoagland, told NBC News of the discovery.

Christopher, who lives in Minnesota, said he is travelling to Connecticut or New York to be with his family.

He admitted that they do not know what motivated his father to leave.

“We’re trying to handle it right now, to be honest. Haven’t really figured out any details,” he said.

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