CLEARFIELD, Mich., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A Michigan woman whose 17-year-old son ran away in 1980 only to die two years later said she has tracked his body to Utah and is trying to claim his remains.
Mary Hagadus said for years she held out hope her son, Lee Jourdan, would walk back through the front door after vanishing as a teen. Last year, Hagadus received a Facebook message from a Utah woman who said she knew the couple with whom Jourdan had lived -- and Hagadus learned her son would never be coming home. Jourdan died in a car crash in 1982.
The man Jourdan called his stepfather, Robert Beeler, had served prison time on a child molestation conviction. Jourdan took Beeler's name and told people Beeler's wife was his biological mother. Their names are listed on his death certificate, Gannett News Service reported Wednesday.
Robert Beeler died in 2012 and a friend of the woman's said it wasn't until after that she discovered who she thought was Beeler's stepson in fact was not and reached out to Hagadus online.
Now, officials say, Hagadus is attempting to have Jourdan's remains exhumed and returned to Michigan for burial with his natural family.
"I can't imagine him wanting to be buried under a child molester's name," she said. "I can't imagine him not wanting to be with us."
Clearfield, Mich., city attorney Brian Brower said he is assisting the woman in trying to get the proper paperwork together to have Jourdan's remains brought back to his birthplace.