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Man declared dead found with new family in America... 37 years later

His Canadian family thought he was dead.

But 37 years later, they find out he's very much alive, with another family in the United States.

A routine check on cold cases led the police to Ronald Stan, who went missing in September 1977.

He was 32 when he supposedly perished in a barn fire in the former Township of East Williams, 35 kilometres west of London, the Ontario Provincial Police in Middlesex County said.

His American family, including a wife and son in Oklahoma, did not know that the person they called Jeff Walton was living under an assumed identity he had created after he fled Ontario.

The 69-year-old was declared dead in 1986, an uncle told the Ontario Star.


Screengrab: Ontario Star

Police did not say how they managed to track him down or why he went missing.

"There's a lot that's available to us now for investigative tools that wasn't available to us back in 1977," Constable Laurie Houghton told the Star. "As a result, we were able to connect the dots."

“I’m still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together myself,” Stan's American son, Jeff Walton Jr. told the Star. "It’s been tough on me, but he’s still my father. It doesn’t change the man I knew for 35 years."

Stan's American wife however, filed for divorce after learning about her husband's past.

Police say no criminal charges will be made.

Sources: Huffington Post, Ontario Star, Aol News

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