WASHINGTON: A couple living in the United States for decades under false names stolen from dead babies have been charged with: identity theft and conspiracy against the government, in a case tinged with suspicion of espionage.
Walter Primrose and his wife Gwynn Morrison, both born in 1955, were arrested Friday in Hawaii. According to documents, a search of the couple’s home yielded an old photo of the couple dressed in KGB uniforms.
A federal judge ruled on Thursday that the man flight risk and ordered his continued detention. The woman will appear in court next week.
According to the indictment, the couple studied together in Texas in the 1970s and were married there in 1980. For unknown reasons, in 1987 they assumed the identities of Bobby Fort and Julie Montague, babies who had died years earlier and are buried near cemeteries. .
The couple then remarried in 1988 under the assumed identities. In 1994, the so-called Bobby Fort joined the Coast Guard, where he served for 20 years before taking a job as a Defense Department contractor.
Over the years, the couple obtained numerous official documents under their own name false identitiesincluding driver’s licenses and various passports.
While no espionage is alleged in the charges, a document filed against their bails suggests a complex case.
“Federal agents seized letters” addressed to the couple that “refer to suspects by names other than Bobby, Julie, Walter or Gwynn,” federal prosecutor Clare Connors said, suggesting they used multiple aliases.
Agents also found the photos of the couple in KGB uniforms.
A relative of Morrison’s told officers she had lived in Romania when it was part of the communist bloc, Connors said.
Primrose, meanwhile, was required to report all foreign travel and had failed to do so for several trips to Canada, the prosecutor said.
Morrison’s lawyer Megan Kau said in a brief comment to AFP that her client denied the allegations.