A U.S. defense contractor and his wife have been charged with identity theft after authorities say they lived under the identities of two children who had died in Texas.
Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison allegedly used the names of Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague for decades. The couple, now in their 60s, were arrested last week in Kapolei, on Hawaii’s Oahu island, according to CBS News.
In a criminal complaint obtained by Hawaii News Now, special agent Dennis Thomas with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service alleged that Primrose and Morrison were both born in 1955 and attended the same high school between 1970 and 1973 and attended Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, from 1976 to 1979. The two married in 1980 and bought a home in 1981, which was foreclosed by a bank in 1987. After their home was foreclosed, the couple allegedly obtained Texas birth certificates for Fort, born in 1967, and Montague, born in 1968. Each baby died shortly after birth, according to death certificates obtained by the State Department.
In August 1987, Primrose obtained a driver’s license in Fort’s name, according to the affidavit. The next month, Morrison obtained an identification card with Montague’s identity. The couple also received social security cards and passports using the names of the dead children.
With his new identity, Primrose joined the U.S. Coast Guard, representing himself as 12 years younger than his actual age. He went on to serve 22 years using Fort’s identity. He later used the assumed identity to get a security clearance and become a defense contractor.
Prosecutors asked that the couple be held without bail, including photos of each wearing KGB uniforms in old Polaroids. An attorney for Morrison, Megan Kau, told the Associated Press that the couple each posed in the same jacket as a joke, and that even though they used stolen identities, they have not committed other crimes.
“She wants everyone to know she’s not a spy,” Kau told the outlet. “This has all been blown way out of proportion. It’s government overreaching.”
The couple is charged with conspiracy to commit offense against the U.S. (referring to false statements on their identification applications), aggravated identity theft, false statements in application for passports.
John Montague, the father whose daughter died at 3 weeks old, couldn’t believe that his daughter’s identity had been stolen.
“The odds are like one-in-a-trillion that they found her and used her name. People stoop to do anything nowadays. Let kids rest in peace,” he told the AP.