Marine accused of military desertion in Colorado arrested in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — A Boulder, Colo., marine accused of faking his own death to avoid serving for a second time in Iraq was arrested Sunday by Port Angeles police at William R. Fairchild International Airport.

Lance Hering, 23, was arrested quietly with his father, Lloyd Hering, who faces a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting a criminal, authorities said.

Lance Hering is being held on a Boulder County warrant for contempt of court on an original charge of burglary — and a U.S. Marine Corps warrant for desertion.

Port Angeles police received a tip from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office about 12:30 p.m. that Lance Hering and his father might be at the airport.

“He was hooked up by my officers when his father had flown here in a rented airplane,” Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher said Sunday night.

“I don’t know why he was here.”

Port Angeles police detective Jesse Winfield made the arrest at about 1:15 p.m.

Staying in PA area

Winfield said it appeared that Lance Hering had been staying in the Port Angeles area, but declined to say where Lance and Lloyd Hering were flying to because of an ongoing investigation.

“We went out to the airport and the airplane was parked by Rite Bros. [Aviation Inc., a fixed-base operator],” Winfield said.

“We saw Lloyd Hering getting the plane fueled up. A man and woman came out of Rite Bros. [building].

“The man was the same size and the same age [as the description given to police by Colorado authorities].”

Winfield said Lance Hering appeared to be saying goodbye to the woman before the arrest was made.

Lance and Lloyd Hering were preparing to leave in a red and white Cessna aircraft, Winfield said, when they were taken into custody without incident.

“We told Lance to get out of the plane,” Winfield said.

“He complied.”

It was unclear who the owner of the Cessna is.

Largest search

The Herings’ arrest spurred headlines in the Denver news media late Sunday.

Lance Hering’s disappearance in 2006 led to the largest search in Boulder County history, The Denver Post reported.

He had been home on leave from the Marines after serving one tour of duty in Iraq in Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, which had been involved in the shooting death of a civilian Iraqi woman in April 2005.

He and a friend had gone hiking in Eldorado Canyon State Park about 30 miles northwest of Denver when he went missing Aug. 30, 2006.

Six-hundred searchers from more than 40 different agencies searched for about five days.

Blood falsified

The day he went missing, Lance Hering’s friend, Steve Powers, told authorities that Hering fell and hit his head while they were climbing in the canyon.

When Powers returned to the scene with investigators, they found a water bottle, climbing shoes and blood.

But the blood was later discovered to belong to Powers, not Hering, the Post reported.

Power later pleaded guilty to false reporting, a misdemeanor.

A security camera video from a Denver Greyhound station showed a man matching Lance Hering’s description buying a ticket about the same time.

Last year, detectives raided the family’s Boulder home after an Internet Web site suggested that Lance Hering was living with his parents again.

However, the raid yielded no evidence that the missing Marine had been living there.

How and why he ended up in Port Angeles is anyone’s guess.

“It’s an interesting circumstance,” Winfield said.


Reporter Joey Bunch of The Denver Post contributed to this report.

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at [email protected]

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