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Released Iraq captive has ties to Linden

Posted March 18, 2012
Updated March 19, 2012

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— An American citizen who says he was released Saturday after nine months of imprisonment by a Shiite militia in Iraq has ties to Cumberland County.

Neighbors said Sunday that Rand Michael Hultz, who appeared at a press conference in Baghdad in a U.S. Army uniform flanked by Iraqi lawmakers to announce his release, lived on Main Street in Linden about two years ago.

A real estate agent who asked not to be identified said that Hultz and his wife moved into the house in 2008 or 2009. The agent said Hultz was a civilian contractor in Iraq.

At the press conference, Hultz said he was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as an active-duty soldier, but left the military after 15 months.

He was featured in a 2008 report on National Public Radio about American entrepreneurs in Iraq. He said he oversaw investments for a venture called the Iraq Fund and described himself as a lobbyist and business developer.

He said he was kidnapped in June, but the Defense Department has no record of him being a missing person. The U.S. government is investigating his story.

Iraqi captive mystery leads to Linden Iraqi captive mystery leads to Linden

Hultz and his wife planned to renovate the Linden house, the real estate agent said, but around January 2011, his wife put the house up for sale, telling the agent that she hadn't heard from her husband.

"She got mad. She felt like he abandoned her. She was calling to Iraq. Nobody could find him," the agent said.

The agent said she had a buyer for the house in April 2011, but she couldn't complete the sale without Hultz's signature – and he was nowhere to be found.

Neighbors said Hultz's wife moved out of the home about four months ago after selling many of his possessions at yard sales, including what she told neighbors were chandeliers from an Iraqi palace.

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  • c1man3 Mar 19, 2012

    If he was not in the Army then he is not a Military POW. The article states he was in the military for 15 months. Well the Military does not have a 15 month program. He was either discharged for medical reasons or he was put out because he was a bad soldier. What I find confusing is that he went back to Iraq after he was a civilian and no contractors have reported him missing. What that says is he went back on his own accord for one of two reasons; To aid the Iraqis or to aid the terrorists fighting the American forces. I am certian more is about to come out in the coming weeks. I am guessing because noone has reported him missing from and services he was probley up to no good. His wife is going to have some answering as well. I can't wait.

  • MonkeyFace Mar 19, 2012

    what they are saying is that this guy says he was a POW, but no one has record of him being missing. he wife up and sold the house along with his stuff

  • kmanc4s Mar 19, 2012

    It sounds like Lucy's got some 'splainin to do...

    His wife didn't report him missing, it seems his employer didn't report him missing. She was selling his stuff at yard sales. It appears there is a lot more to this story.

  • wral suks bauls Mar 19, 2012

    Is it just me or am I the only one confused by this story?? I have no idea what they are trying to say? The guy in the picture is actually known as someone else? Im lost.