An Arizona man presumed dead reemerged
16 years later and claims that he left his family because he's gay.
While attending a real estate seminar
in San Diego, Eric Myers vanished without a trace, leaving behind his
wife and 5 children, two daughters and three adopted boys from
Myers disappeared in 1991. The case
went unsolved and Myers was declared dead by his family.
“I just wanted it all to end. I
wanted everything to end,” Myers
told ABC's 20/20.
From the outside, the deeply religious
family appeared to have achieved the American dream of financial
success and family bliss.
But a close friend said that Myers was
in debt “big time” and that his marriage was faltering as he
headed to his meeting in San Diego.
Myers said that he was robbed in San
Diego and with only a few hundred dollars in his pocket decided the
next day to head to Mexico, where he bought a bus ticket to Cabo San
“At 6 years old, I knew I was
attracted, drawn very heavily toward other people [of] my same sex,”
He said that he believed marrying and
starting a family would alter his sexuality.
Myers returned to the United States,
setting down roots in the gay-friendly city of Palm Springs,
California, where he met Sean Lung, his partner.
In 1996, Myers was declared legally
dead and his family cashed in a life insurance policy worth $800,000.
The money was placed in trusts for his two daughters. The insurance
company is currently suing to get its money back, with interest.
Myers reemerged in 2007, sending emails
to friends and family members.
“There was never any plan to come
back, just like there was never any plan to leave, and it just
happened,” said Myers.
Myers has since reunited with most of
his family, except his youngest daughter, Kirsten Myers Ruggiano, now
30. Ruggiano has not spoken with her father.
“I know a lot of people who would
never do this … Absolutely never blame it on their homosexuality.
I don't believe that he is capable of love,” she said.