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 inv now more than 20 years later a shocking phone call. >> he asked me if i knew who 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
porky pet into a social media celebrity. and a foreign affair. 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 r decision. the decision to ride on. 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 just 60 seconds. at perdue, we take some unexpected extra steps... to raise healthy chickens with no antibiotics ever. for example, thyme.
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 >> reporter: bliss in the american heartland. 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.
his toothbrush? >> no. it's still there. he didn't pack any clothes. 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 y won't last too long. he'll be back. >> reporter: eventually that hope disappeared, too. >> 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
inside. mom kept doug's card. maybe some time soon we will get 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. an and over and over. >> 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.
>> reporter: silence, endless silence. 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: sas driving at the time. so she had to pull over. >> he said we have him in 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?
cartel? no, richard hoagland was pretending to be a dead 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 found the death certificate. he stole it. >> i'm using that death certificate, he applies for a 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,
mary why the rest of the symanski clan didn't come for thanksgiving. >> she said there was always 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 talked to some of the 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
years after they buried him. detective cardillo came 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 marriage was shattered. >> reporter: must be awkward for to you be in the middle of it? >> of course. 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
not. >> i believe that he got caught up with the wrong people, carried away and over his head 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 hoagland. >> reporter: richard hoagland is now in jail refusing to talk 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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celebrity. with the latest in our series "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 grow. until derek and steve realized, 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
that esther was a commercial pig and full-sized commercial pig. 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 >> hen we first started the page it was for friends and family. we hadn't shown people a lot 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.
animal lovers who invited us to their home turned animal 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 dads are 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
we go through mattresses probably every two months. but the lack of sleep hasn't 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 food. >> all of our pigs here eat a kibble that we have manufactured 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
who followed its dream. 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 about animal influencing. 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
we have quite a few hedgehogs. >> reporter: her dads don't have 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 j canada. next year overseas with prb on what was supposed to be a final triumphant visit to europe. instead it seems all anybody wants to talk about is donald trump. abc news "nightline" brought
key and equally lonely apology 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 the future leader not in the world, donald j. trump. >> i am encouraged by the 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.
he's a businessman. >> 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, ends meet. >> it's difficult. >> 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
200ses this germans enraptored 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 p pitts. >> as always we're online 24/7 at nightline facebook page. ?? ?? revenge of mariah's ex. is he trying to destroy her new
more like mimi's man. >> are charlie sheen's children in danger? >> the new investigation into charlie's ex. we have the disturbing police car. >> shelley duvall'ssfall from fame, struggling with mental illness and her cry for mental health today. >> if i say i'm healthy the first thing they'll do is hurt me tonight. and we hit the beach with the stars of "baywatch." watch out zac efron and the ro women giving the sexiest man alive a run for his money. >> what do you call him now? >> dwayne. >> never rock or daddy like you call me. daddy. >> now for november 17, 2016, this is "entertainment tonight"o will mariah's ex-fiance destroy her dock you searies? >> mimi looked just fine when she took the stage last night with her famous new accessory,