Military deserter shows up after 28 years missing. Will he be extradited and tried?
Assassin~ Badass Buzz Guru 2012/06/20 14:09:58
STOCKHOLM, June 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. Air Force deserter
who has lived secretly in Sweden since 1984 has revealed his identity
and contacted his family in the United States who were overwhelmed to
hear he was still alive, a Swedish newspaper reported at the weekend.
Nyheter said David Hemler had deserted aged 21 while serving at a U.S.
Air Force base in Germany, after getting involved with a pacifist
church and becoming disillusioned with the policies of former President
He hitchhiked via Denmark to
Sweden where he settled down, living under an assumed name for the last
28 years and not revealing his true identity to anyone.
never planned on not telling the truth in the beginning. I intended to
come to Sweden until I felt better (after his experience in the
airforce), I expected a week or so," Hemler told the newspaper in a
video on its website.
Now aged 49, he is married
to a woman from Thailand, has three children and works for a Swedish
government agency, but would not let the newspaper print his assumed
After his desertion, he became one of the
U.S. Air Force's eight most wanted fugitives, according to the
newspaper, and had expected at any time to be arrested by military
police with both Interpol and Europol looking for him.
told the newspaper he had missed his parents after he deserted but
went on to have a child and had not wanted to be separated from her.
had decided to come forward after his third daughter turned two and
could go to day care, so his wife would be better able to cope if he
He first contacted his U.S. family
four weeks ago, speaking to his brother Thomas who was in Massachusetts
at the time on a business trip.
heard immediately it was David, even if he had a strange European
accent after all these years," Thomas Hemler, who lives in New Jersey,
was quoted on Sunday as saying.
He said he had
asked questions to confirm the man was indeed his brother David.
Members of his family in the United States are now planning to visit
him in Sweden.
The website of the U.S. Air Force
Office of Special Investigations lists Hemler, who was born in
Pennsylvania, as having deserted on February 10, 1984 from the 6913th
Electronic Security Squadron in Augsburg, Germany.
Air Force Fugitives page shows a photo of Hemler as a young man, and a
photo digitally enhanced to show how he might look aged 47.
The newspaper said Hemler was registered in Sweden as a citizen of an unknown country who was born in Zurich.
His lawyer, Emma Persson, told Reuters he had approached her firm for legal advice about a month ago.
opinion is that he will not lose his permanent residence permit in
Sweden, it is very unlikely," she said. She also thought it unlikely he
would be extradited to the United States.
See Votes by State
News & Politics
Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions