Hawaii Couple Allegedly Used Dead Kids' Names for Decades

They're accused of stealing the children's identities
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2022 2:21 AM CDT
Updated Jul 28, 2022 6:46 AM CDT
Couple Allegedly Lived for Decades Under Names Stolen From Dead Children
This undated photo provided by the United States District Court District of Hawaii shows Walter Glenn Primose, also known as Bobby Edward Fort.   (United States District Court District of Hawaii via AP)

A US defense contractor and his wife who lived for decades under the identities of two dead Texas children have been charged with identity theft and conspiring against the government, according to federal court records unsealed in Honolulu. Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, both in their late 60s, allegedly lived for decades under the names Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague, respectively. They were arrested Friday in Kapolei on the island of Oahu, the AP reports. Prosecutors are seeking to have the couple held without bail, which could indicate the case is about more than defrauding the government to obtain drivers’ licenses, passports, and Defense Department credentials.

Those documents helped Primrose get secret security clearance with the US Coast Guard and as a defense contractor, and old photos show the couple wearing uniforms of the KGB, the former Russian spy agency, Assistant US Attorney Thomas Muehleck said in court papers. Faded Polaroids of each in uniform were included in the motion to have them held. A “close associate” of Morrison said she lived in Romania while it was a Soviet bloc country, Muehleck said. Prosecutors said there is a high risk the couple would flee if freed. They also suggested that Primrose, who was an avionics electrical technician in the Coast Guard, was highly skilled to communicate secretly if released. The couple is also believed to have other aliases, Muehleck said.

John Montague, whose daughter, Julie, died in 1968 at 3 weeks of age, said he was shocked when he heard someone had been living under his daughter's name. “I still can’t believe it happened,” Montague, 91, told the AP. "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.” There is no indication in court papers why the couple in 1987 assumed the identities of deceased children who would have been more than a decade younger than them.

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Court records don't provide any information about what happened from the time they assumed their new identities until 1994 when Primrose, then about 39, enlisted in the Coast Guard as Fort, who would have been about 27. Primrose served in the service until 2016 when he began work for an unnamed US defense contractor at the US Coast Guard Air station at Barbers Point. (See much more here.)

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