08:25 GMT11 May 2021
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    A 75-year-old man who went Absent Without Leave from the US Air Force 45 years ago was apprehended by the Marion County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

    Linley Benson Lemburg went AWOL in 1972, and had been living under the alias William Michael Robertson ever since. He had also listed his birthday as August 29, 1951 — ten years after his actual date of birth.

    Lemburg was tracked down by the sheriff’s office after being approached for help by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. His identity was confirmed using fingerprints that were taken when he enlisted in the military.

    "He then gave fingerprints to our latent print examiner, and they compared those fingerprints that he gave today to the fingerprints that he gave when he enlisted in the Air Force, and they did match," Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lauren Lettelier told News 4 JAX.

    A neighbor of Lemburg’s told the station that the elderly man is “one of the nicest people he's ever known.”

    According to US military law, anyone who goes AWOL for more than 30 days is a deserter. Lemburg is now being held at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

    The maximum penalty that Lemburg could face for desertion during wartime would be death, but that punishment has not been used on a deserter since 1945. Lemburg is more likely to face fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and/or dishonorable discharge.

    It is unclear whether Lemburg has obtained an attorney.


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