MINOT, N.D. — A member of the United States Air Force who claimed he was kidnapped and had forgotten his identity after he was found with a head injury in a ditch near Sacramento, Calif., is returning to Minot Air Force Base.
In a Wednesday, Jan. 29, statement, the air base told the Minot Daily News that 32-year-old airman Keith Keiffer was headed to Minot after he was found injured during his leave from a base in California.
After being found in the ditch along a road, Keiffer, who was stationed at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, told police he was kidnapped and held in a warehouse for several days before being found, but Sacramento police found no evidence of a crime, according to CBS affiliate KOVR-TV.
On Jan. 22, an Amador County sheriff’s deputy found Keiffer in a ditch about 45 miles east of Sacramento, a local police news release said. Keiffer said he did not remember his name or where he was and was brought to a local hospital.
While being treated, Keiffer said he could still not remember who he was and allowed local law enforcement officials to take his photo so they could identify him, according to police.
After his photo was posted to social media by authorities, Keiffer remembered his name, birth date and Social Security number, police said. He told law enforcement officials that he was stationed at Minot Air Force Base but was previously stationed at nearby Travis Air Force Base, just west of Sacramento.
According to KOVR-TV, Keiffer was preparing to move to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota for a permanent change in station. Keiffer’s wife, Shanika Keiffer, who lives in Minot, told the California news station that Keiffer had admitted to her that he had made up the story to get out of active duty — something Keiffer denied in a phone call.
The Minot Air Force Base told the Minot Daily News that Air Force officials are investigating the incident. KOVR-TV said Sacramento police could not prove Keiffer made a false claim and that they had closed the case.
KOVR-TV said Keiffer was headed back to Minot on Wednesday evening and that he was listed as being “on leave.”