“It’s true that we’ve got Håkan back. It feels really fantastic,” Johansson’s sister told local newspaper Piteå-Tidningen.
Johansson left his wife and three month old baby in October 1993. He fled the country with 400,000 kronor ($50,000) taken from a company he owned jointly with his wife’s brother, Aftonbladet reports.
Realising what had happened, his brother-in-law traced him to Arlanda airport in Stockholm. Johansson was standing in line at the check-in desk when he locked eyes on his business partner. The runaway father turned on his heels and fled, managing to give his brother-in-law the slip.
Four days later he boarded a plane for New York and was not heard from again. Interpol took up the search but Johansson was nowhere to be found.
After years of silence and despair, Johansson’s family finally received fresh hope in autumn 2007. A person from Piteå reported hearing someone who matched Johansson’s description speak Swedish with a Piteå dialect at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.
Johansson’s sister confirmed that her brother had spent the last fifteen years in the United States.
Johansson does not risk prosecution for his alleged crime as the expiry date for pressing charges expired in 2003.