Marshals to release true identity in mysterious case of Joseph Newton Chandler III

(Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Justice) 1999 driver's license photo and age regression in 1978 Joseph Newton Chandler III

EASTLAKE, Ohio– Investigators have discovered the true identity of Joseph Newton Chandler III.

The U.S. Marshals and Eastlake police will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday to share details about the mysterious cold case, including the man’s real name.

Chandler, a man in his 60s, killed himself in his Eastlake apartment on July 30, 2002. But authorities quickly discovered things were not as they seemed.

The actual Joseph Newton Chandler III was 8 years old when he died in a car crash with his parents in 1945 in Texas.

Investigators said they believe the man assumed the boy’s identity in 1978 while living in Rapid City, South Dakota. Soon after, he moved to the Cleveland area, where he stayed until his death.

Eastlake police said calls poured in from police and people around the world in hopes of identifying the male with some believing it was D. B Cooper, an unknown man who hijacked a plane for ransom money in 1971.

Two years ago, authorities determined Chandler’s real last name was Nicholas using DNA analysis. The Marshals also released a poster, where they described Chandler as an intelligent, neat and eccentric man who lived a secluded life. He worked as a draftsman and was proficient in electrical engineering.