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Air Force deserter captured using a fake ID

13 June 2018, 08:00 | Devin Moran

Image Captain William Howard Hughes Jr. Pic Air force office of special investigations

Portrait of Captain William Howard Hughes Jr taken from Air Force Office of Special Investigations official website

Then just a few days ago, the mystery that began more than three decades ago came to an end.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has said that a fugitive captain has been apprehended in California after being declared a deserter nearly 35 years ago.

Following his arrest, Hughes was charged with desertion and is being held at Travis Air Force Base in California. He was officially declared a deserter by the Air Force on December 9 of that year.

Military.com reported the former airman deserting his office and purportedly using the alias, Barry O'Beirne as noted in a fake passport.

"After being confronted with inconsistencies about his identity, the individual admitted his true name was William Howard Hughes Jr., and that he deserted from the US Air Force in 1983", the Air Force Office of Special Investigations told CNN.

"Everyone knew him as Tim".

Dayao and her husband had talked about going to a Giants game together with him and his partner.

Later that year, the unmarried Seattle native was declared a deserter - something one of his sisters refused to believe.

Messages left on an answering machine at the couple's home number were not immediately returned.




Neighbor Lorenzo Laurel, 62, told the AP that Captain Hughes was an "ideal neighbour".

"Interviews of friends, associates and coworkers failed to disclose information regarding Hughes' whereabouts", the AFOSI wrote. Hughes was arrested at his residence without incident June 6 on charges of desertion, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations announced in a news release Thursday.

"This is a complete shock", Tom said.

Hughes was apprehended at his California home.

But Card said no classified information leaks are suspected, nor is there an indication that Hughes was involved with the Soviet Union, but the investigation is ongoing.

According to the USAF, his duties included "classified planning and analysis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command, control and communications surveillance systems". He specialized in radar surveillance.

Based at at Kirtland Air Force Base, Captain Hughes was 33 when he vanished, according news reports at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen in New Mexico withdrawing $28,500 from his bank account at 19 different branch locations, the Air Force said in a statement.

"Captain Hughes, who was single, was dispatched to the Netherlands on July 18, 1983, to work with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officers on the operations of Airborne Warning and Control electronic surveillance aircraft", the statement said. Hughes was expected back on duty from a short stint in Europe on August 1, 1983 but he never reported to duty.



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