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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 18, 2016 12:37am-1:07am PST

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this is "nightline." >> tonight the disappearing dad who vanished without a trace leaving behind a wife and two boys. >> he devastated us. he left us with nothing. >> their idyllic suburban life shattered. the investigation stone cold. now more than 20 years later a shocking phone call. >> he a richard hoagland was. and i said, yes. >> have police solved the case and the missing father's stunning secret. plus, esther the wonder pig. adopting a piglet seemed like a swine idea until she grew into a whole hog. >> getting rid of her wasn't an option for us. >> this 650-pounder sleeps in a bed and opens doors with her nose. how this couple turned their porky pet into a social media
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we're with president obama on his final overseas tour. >> what do you think of our president-elect donald trump? >> no comment. >> as he tries to calm nervous europeans filled with trump trepidation. but first here tonight the "nightline" five. ? one day a rider made a decision. the decision to he decided to switch his motorcycle insurance to geico. there's no shame in saving money. ride on, ride proud. geico motorcycle. great rates for great rides. number one is coming up in
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good evening. and we're going to start here tonight with a mystery that got solved only to lead to another deeper mystery. why would a seemingly happy husband and father disappear, vanish? wait until you see what his family learns when they finally find him. here's abc's nick wan. >> reporter: bliss in the what did you love about him? >> he was a lot of fun to be with. >> reporter: then february 10, 1993, richard vanished. never came home from his insurance job. called, said he was sick, going to the hospital. linda calls the hospital. not a trace. her husband had disappeared. didn't even take his passport. his toothbrush? >> no. it's still there.
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it was cold. it was in february. he did not take a coat. >> reporter: linda called the cops and mom. >> she said rick's gone. i said gone? where did he go? >> reporter: boy, if she only knew. son matthew was 9 at the time, baby brother doug was 6. one day your dad was there, the next day -- >> gone. >> reporter: gone. >> initially you think this won't last too long. he'll be back. >> reporter: eventually that hope >> how do you walk away from your own children? how do you turn your back? >> reporter: authorities eventually found his car abandoned at indianapolis airport. a clue? nope. a dead end. >> there was no richard hoagland that took any flights out of indianapolis that day. or after that. >> reporter: that summer both boys received a birthday card from pop with 50 bucks slipped inside. mom kept doug's card.
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to see each other. i bet i won't even know you it has been so long. mind your mother. bye. those words, the last they ever heard from dad. now, in the eyes of the law, linda wasn't so much a victim, maybe a suspect. they were thinking that you may have been either in cahoots with him. >> exactly. >> reporter: or you bumped him off? >> exactly. and they interrogated me over and over and >> reporter: they lost the house, the cars, the fancy vacations. >> he devastated us. he left us with nothing. absolutely nothing. i was broken. >> reporter: linda's mom swung into action. >> she's our daughter. and i'm a parent. and i had to help her.
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ten years pass, richard hoagland was officially declared dead. linda moved on. she remarried. >> it's like wounds, they heal slowly over time. >> reporter: then just this past summer she got a call from detective tony cardillo, pacifico county sheriff's department, florida. >> he asked me if i knew who richard hoagland was. and i said, yes, my ex-husband. >> reporter: she was actually driving at the time. so she had to pull over. >> he said we have him custody. >> were you at all glad to hear he was still alive? >> i don't remember that feeling. >> reporter: richard hoagland back from the dead. >> this goes down as one of those cases when you start hearing it, people are going to think this is a made for tv movie. maybe it will be one day. >> reporter: where had he been the past 23 years? living on a tropical beach? caught up with a colombian cartel?
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fisherman, terry symanski killed in a freak boating accident in 1991. >> it was like catch me if you can, not quite as glamorous. >> reporter: everyone tried to wrap their heads around how someone can disappear, live a life for 23 years and get away with it. here's how. hoagland fled to florida and just happened to rent a room from the recently deceased terry symanski's father. found the death certificate. he stole it. >> i'm using that death cert birth certificate. he submits this birth certificate to get a drive's license. once he has that driver's license, he starts establishing his name is terry symanski. >> reporter: it's that easy? >> this was some time ago. >> reporter: it is not that easy anymore? >> i hope not. >> reporter: bought this house, married a nice lady named mary, even had a child. i wonder how he explained to mary why the rest of the symanski clan didn't come for
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questions but he'd always come up with a reason or an explanation. >> reporter: just enjoying the quiet life in sleepy, sultry zephyr hills, florida. warmer than an indiana winter. maybe that was a factor. >> you deal with identity theft all the time. but nothing with this longevity. owns multiple homes, multiple mortgages, cars, he got married, had a child, has a pilot's license, owns a plane. >> we tenants there. they said he was a good landlord. nice guy. nobody had anything unusual to say about him. >> reporter: nice guy. who would have thought? >> i would have never guessed it was him. >> reporter: and could have gotten away with it had the real terry symanski's nephew not been doing a little online genealogy research. he discovered that poor old uncle terry died in 1991 apparently got married four years after they buried him.
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knocking. >> he provided his florida driver's license. terry symanski, correct date of birth. i asked him again. he said his name was terry symanski. i showed him the death certificate that i brought with me. he eventually told me that his real name is richard hoagland. >> reporter: his unsuspecting new wife and son were home at the time. blindsided. >> obviously, 20 years of marriage was shattered. >> reporter: must be awkward for to you be in the middle of it? >> of the son came down. he was shocked. it's still his father. you know, it's his blood. but that symanski name is not his. the emotions that they were feeling between, you know, anger and sadness and the wonder of why. >> reporter: richard hoagland's wife and child going by the name of a dead fisherman they never knew. sharing a home with a man pretending to be someone he was not. >> i believe that he got caught up with the wrong people,
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in something. >> i mean, i wonder if that's because that's a better thing for you to believe than he actually just left you all? >> no. yeah. there were rumors that maybe he had stolen a million dollar ds and that's why he left. >> he was telling me family issues with his wife and children. >> like a puzzle right now that's missing pieces. >> the state versus richard hoagland. >> reporter: richard hoagland is now in jail refusing to us awaiting trial on charges including identity fraud. so he's in a bad place? >> yes. >>y can't stand to be confined in any one place and now he can't go anywhere. just kind of tickles me a little bit. >> i have this ring. this is my dad's ring. that's it. i do wear it for the most part every day, but i think i wear it
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>> next, her owners got her as a piglet thinking she'd grow into the size of a dog. they were very, very wrong. how esther the wonder pig grew into a great big social media star. wahhhh... right. in. your. stomach! watch this!... >>yikes, that ice cream was messing with you, wasn't it? try lactaid, it's real ice cream, without that annoying lactose.
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what do you do when you adopt an adorable little piglet as a family pet and that piglet grows into a 650-pound behemoth? this is not a hypothetical. for one couple the answer was keep the pig and turn her into a celebrity.
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"social stars" here is my "nightline" co-anchor, juju chang. >> she was the bundle of joy they always hoped for. >> she was a piglet, very little when we first got her. >> a tiny adorable teacup pig they named esther. >> she grew up and settled into our family quickly. >> reporter: but little esther continued to grow and grow and grow. until derek and esther was no mini pig. esther is a big, fat pig. >> she's our 650-pound mini pig. we got her a few years ago. four years ago expecting to get a mini pig. we were told she would be 70 pounds when full sized. we ended up getting completely taken for a ride and turned out that esther was a commercial pig
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we didn't know what to do. she's getting bigger and bigger, getting rid of her wasn't an option for us. >> unable to pot ways, she became a beloved house pet. she's 650 pounds of pure piggy love. and now esther's also a full blown social media celebrity with 270,000 followers on instagram and 800 hss this likes on facebook. >> hen we first started the page it was for friends and family. we h about esther. over the course of the first two months, it was 80 days from the day we started the page until we hit 100,000 followers. >> reporter: her popularity grew like her waistline, which her dad styled in a muumuu or a tutu with the caption, i tried ballet once, it wasn't really my thing. or could we have cookies for dinner? i wish we had home delivery service at my house. steve and derek are consummate animal lovers who invited us to
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sanctuary in the suburbs outside toronto. >> just this past weekend we had 120 visitors here. this is esther's house. she's just playing with her treat ball right now. you got any cupcakes behind that camera? >> reporter: but esther is smarter than your average bear or pig. she opens the freezer. >> that's from her using her snout to get in there. >> reporter: works the front door. and eats whatever her eating. >> you won't let me eat this all by myself, will you? >> she's hilarious. eats off a fork. >> reporter: steve and derek do acknowledge that keeping a 650-pound pig in your house can cause problems. >> she loves to root in her blankets. it's one of a pig's natural instincts to do is to root up their beds and make them fluffy. we go through mattresses probably every two months.
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slowed them down. they now have over 250 animals living with them including chickens, rams, roosters, bun es and pigs. >> come on in. >> reporter: 11 more esther-sized pig es. >> you guys love watermelon. >> reporter: who unlike esther, live in the barn. >> there we go. >> reporter: all those hungry oinkers means lots and lots of food. >> all of our pigs here eat a kibble that we have for them. >> we ate $3,000 worth of pig food last year and that's four tons. >> reporter: which, of course, isn't cheap, fortunately esther's fame helps covers the bill. she has an online store that brings in cash, and they put out a book. but still those witty, clever posts. one of the ones that i stopped and literally laughed out loud is a cupcake is just a muffin
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in fact, it's her fans who helped when she grew too large for the home. supporters raised them $440,000 to build their own farm for esther. >> a thousand comments come through. go for it, go for it. go for it. so we start this indegogo campaign. >> reporter: she knews a thing about animal influenc her agency reps hundreds of insta pets. why are we obsessed with animals on social media. >> people have a physical reaction to cute. it ellicits these warm fuzzy feelings in us. >> reporter: but not cute like puppy and kitten cute, we're talking about exotic cute. >> yes, you have to think of it. then you have the anomaly is esther the wonder pig or the hedgehogs that we have. we have quite a few hedgehogs.
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any hedgehogs yet, but esther has already had quite an impact. >> it's her ability to make you think about things entirely differently. people will write us and say, i'll never eat pork again, but they also write us now and say, i've had a really hard time smiling. esther, you're the first thing that's made me smile in weeks. >> reporter: just a pig promoting a happy positive life one oink at a time. for now i'm juju chang, ontario, canada. next year overseas with prb on what was final triumphant visit to europe. instead it seems all anybody wants to talk about is donald trump. abc news "nightline" brought
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and finally tonight we're on the road with barack obama who is trying to reassure nervous europeans about his successor. my "nightline" co-anchor is traveling with the president. >> this was to have been his victory lap, a final jaunt across europe. instead to many president obama's trip has felt like a low
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tour. america's reassurer in chief to the world. >> i think the president-elect is going to see fairly quickly that the demands and responsibilities of a u.s. president are not ones that you can treat casually. >> the president and his staunchest european ally, german chancellor angela merkel fielding as many questions about the future leader not in the world, donald j. trump. >> i am president-elect's insistence that nato is a commitment that does not change. >> there seems to be great affection for president obama here in berlin. the gentleman president as one german put it. as for the man who he be our 45th president, not so much. what do you think of our president-elect donald trump? >> no comment. >> he's a little crazy. >> it will be exciting. >> exciting. why? >> i guess.
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>> the president's first stop will be here in athens, greece, the birthplace of democracy. a private tour of the acropolis. the tourist in chief equally popular here. much of greece and parts of europe share the same sense of economic despair as a large number of americans who voted for trump. unemployment here 24%. our cabbie told us today he works 14 to 17 hours daily, seven days a week just to make ends meet. >> it's di >> then there's the crushing toll of a refugee crisis. waves pouring into europe from the war ravaged middle east. there's more than a few greeks sympathetic to trump's call for stronger borders in the u.s. so it is with that backdrop abroad and tensions back home that president obama passes through europe a final time as leader of the free world. remember his first trip to germany as candidate obama? not a single gray hair.
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by his every word. but eight years later the audacity of hope gives way to the uncertainty of now. yet optimism is still a valued currency, home and abroad. >> let's hope the best. >> for "nightline" i'm byron pi pitts. >> as always we're online 24/7 at abc and our our nightline facebook page. dwayne johnson rocks the vote for "people" magazine's sexiest man alive. the superstar reveals his secret to staying so good looking. then taylor swift and katy perry's bad blood boils over. how "watch what happens live" host andy cohen is rekindling the feud. plus ryan reynolds gets grilled by himself? >> first question. why such a [ bleep ]?
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his own brother to interview himself for "gq's "man of the year issue. >> it's a big honor. i can't think of anyone more worthy. >> yeah, well. it's -- >> hey, jake. >> big stars, big hollywood. "celebrity page tv" starts now. >> welcome to "celebrity page," i'm sonia isabelle coming to you from the "celebrity page" studio. i'm diving deeper into hollywood's ageism controversy. first jaymes vaughan is out west tracking the hothead >> yeah, sonia, on the west coast big you a sneak peek at hailee steinfeld's new movie. first breaking down the trending stories in "the hollywood wrap." some of the biggest names in music coming out to celebrate 75 years of capitol records. katy perry honoring the label she calls home. stunning in a black and white patterned off the shoulder jumpsuit. earlier in the day the singer helping capitol unveil its very own star on the hollywood walk


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