A couple in Hawaii have been charged with identity theft and conspiring against the government for allegedly stealing the identities of dead babies born more than a decade after they were. Using the allegedly stolen identities, the husband was even able to obtain security clearance as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and work as a defense contractor.
According to federal court documents filed in Hawaii, Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, both born in Texas in 1955, assumed the names Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague in 1987 for reasons unknown, except that they may have foreclosed on a house earlier that same year. Though married under their given names in 1980, the couple remarried under their assumed names in 1988 and secured various other legal identification documents, including passports and birth certificates, which allowed Primrose to join the U.S. Coast Guard in 1994.
Primrose also owned a passport under his birth name, and prosecutors allege that the couple have other aliases as well.
The couple have lived in a modest house on the island of Oahu since at least 2016, when Primrose left the Coast Guard and began working with an unnamed defense contractor at the U.S. Coast Guard Air station at Barbers Point, about a half-hour drive from Honolulu. The couple also owned another home nearby, which they rented to members of the military.
A neighbor claimed that she had always known them as Bob and Lynn.
“They kept to themselves, but they were friendly,” Mai Ly Schara said. “They just kind of were, like, a little nerdy.”
Schara also claimed that Primrose did some yard work for her and that Morrison tutored local children and took care of several cats and rabbits.
But for the families of the deceased children whose identities were supposedly stolen, Primrose and Morrison are hardly harmless.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” said John Montague, father of little Julie Lyn Montague, who died in Texas in 1968 at just three weeks old. “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.”
“I’m glad my mama’s with the Lord,” Tonda Ferguson, Montague’s daughter, said. “This would be so traumatic for her.”
Little Bobby Edward Fort died three months prior to Julie Lyn Montague. Both died at the same Texas hospital and are buried 14 miles apart.
In addition to stealing the identities of Bobby and Julie, prosecutors also hint that Primrose and Morrison may have Soviet and/or communist ties, submitting faded Polaroids of the two wearing KGB uniforms and alleging that Morrison spent time in Romania while it was still under Soviet control. They have also requested that they be held without bail, claiming that the two are a flight risk.
A bail hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
“[Morrison] wants everyone to know she’s not a spy,” attorney Megan Kau said. “This has all been blown way out of proportion. It’s government overreaching.”