Bulgarian Who Used Boy's ID Getting Out Of Prison

Published January 25, 2012 2:18AM (EST)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal authorities say they'll seek to deport a Bulgarian man who assumed the identity of a murdered Ohio boy and became an Oregon liquor enforcement agent.

Doitchin Krastev was released from federal prison Tuesday in Taft, Calif., and handed over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in Bakersfield, which said he'd be held without bond and scheduled to appear before an immigration judge.

Krastev pleaded guilty in 2010 to passport fraud and identity theft and apologized to the family of Jason Robert Evers, who was killed at age 3 in a 1982 kidnapping attempt.

Krastev wasn't linked to the killing. He came to the United States for an education in the 1990s, dropped out of college and then took over Evers' identity.

He was caught because he applied for a passport, and the State Department had begun checking applications against death records.

Krastev's lawyer said he hoped to rebuild his life in Bulgaria with an American fiancee.

Krastev was a child and living in Bulgaria, the son of respected scholars, when Evers was killed.

Michael Horowitz, a former Reagan administration official, befriended the family during Eastern European travel. He and his wife took in Krastev, who graduated from a U.S. high school and earned a scholarship to Davidson College in Charlotte, N.C. But he did poorly, dropped out, and, facing the possibility of returning to Bulgaria, disappeared.

Horowitz said when Krastev was arrested that he believed the Bulgarian didn't want to return to his homeland, which had struggled as its communist government failed.

Investigators and journalists found he spent years in Colorado before moving to Oregon and, using Evers' name, passed a background check for a job in central and eastern Oregon with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

By Salon Staff

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