After 32 years body of runaway back with his mother

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – After three decades Lee Jourdan has returned to the home where he grew up.
Jourdan died in 1982 but his journey home has spanned three decades.
Over the week-end his mother held a memorial service in Michigan for her long lost son.

“I got my son's ashes and now he can be with family,” says Mary Hagadus.

32-years ago, Jourdan ran away and ended up in Utah.

“It was terrible,” says Hagadus. “The first few years I would cry every time his birthday would come around. I would wonder where he was. I always prayed that God was looking over him.”

He was living with Robert Beeler who later was convicted of molesting children. In 1982, Jourdan died when a car crushed him. He had just argued with Beeler and his step-sister told ABC 4 in February that the death was suspicious. He was buried in the Clearfield cemetery under the name of Lee Beeler.

Two years ago Carol Jones, a step-sister found a letter Jourdan wrote but never sent. He was requesting a copy of his birth certificate from the state of Michigan and named Hagadus as his mother. The letter was turned over to Clearfield police.

"From a humanity stand point this mother didn't know whether her son has been alive or dead,” says Carey Stricker who investigated the case. “It was up to the police department. We owed it to her.”

The letter and pictures of Jourdan helped confirm his identity.
Police got a court order to exhume the body and returned it to Michigan.

“It was closure for her,” says Stricker. “My pursuit was to resolve the case and get the remains back to her to prove it was her son and bring closure for her.”

Jourdan’s back home now. His mother who is terminally ill with cancer is now at peace.

“I was always hoping he'd grow up, have family, have children like every parents wants their children,” says Hagadus. “But life is what life is and at least we've got him back.”

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