Airman missing 40 years found living double life in Fla. – WLS-TV
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —
A serviceman, who disappeared 40 years ago from an Air Force base in North Dakota, was found living a double life in Florida.
Authorities say he’s lived in central Florida for years using a fake name.
Jeffrey Michels, 64, of Sanford, is now in the custody of the United States Air Force. After 40 years, the airman first class was arrested Thursday on a warrant for desertion.
According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons website: Michels failed to report for duty at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on July 6, 1977. He hadn’t been seen or heard from since. The Facebook group Veteran Doe posted a picture of Michels on July 9.
Turns out, Michels wasn’t missing after all. He was living in a home in the Terra Bella neighborhood in Sanford with his wife and kids under an alias, which he used for years.
According to a booking report, Michels went by the name Jeffrey Lantz.
Records show he used the name in 1998, to obtain a business license from the state of Florida for his construction business called Atlantic Development Corporation.
He also used the name to buy a home in Seminole County, according to the property appraisers website.
Neighbors told WFTV Michels was once the HOA president. They were shocked when told about his secret past life.
One neighbor did not want to be identified, but he never suspected Michels, or Lantz as he knew him, had such a shocking secret.
“It’s very interesting the fact that he moved into the neighborhood. He set himself up in construction and to know to find this out that he had a second life is totally unbelievable that somebody could live that long without being caught,” the neighbor said.
No one answered the door at Michel’s home when WFTV knocked. An Air