PORTLAND, Ore. – PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Clues are emerging about the past of an Oregon man whose true identity has been revealed after he claimed to be an Ohio boy killed in a kidnapping nearly 30 years ago.
So far, investigators have learned Doitchin Krasev went to college in North Carolina in the mid-1990s and lived in Colorado before moving to Oregon.
Krasev had claimed to be Jason Robert Evers, a 3-year-old boy who was killed in Cincinnati in 1982. But a passport application check led to his arrest last month during a national investigation that finally turned up his real name on Thursday.
"We've been relentless," said Patrick Durkin, special agent in charge of the San Francisco field office for the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. State Department.
The San Francisco office began a program called "Operation Death Match" in 2005 to compare passport applications and state death certificates, leading to convictions against more than 120 imposters.
Durkin said Friday that investigators are still following up leads on Krasev on the East Coast.
The Washington Post reported on its website Friday that Krasev came to the United States from Bulgaria after his parents consented to let him live with Michael Horowitz, former general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration, and his wife, Devra Marcus, a physician.
The McLean, Va., couple told the newspaper Krasev's parents were intellectuals that Horowitz met while studying the effects of communism in Eastern Europe and they wanted a better life for their son.
They said Krasev lived with them for two years in the early 1990s, graduated from Georgetown Day, a prestigious high school in Washington, D.C., and earned a scholarship to Davidson College in North Carolina before he disappeared.
"I love him, actually," Marcus told the Post. "I was heartbroken. I talked to cops, patients who were cops. One said, 'He's dead, you can forget it.' I never did think he was dead. I just didn't."
The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland identified Krasev on Thursday after the State Department issued a bulletin on May 21 seeking information on the man claiming to be Evers.
So far, many details in the bulletin have been confirmed, Durkin said, based partly on interviews with a Colorado fly-fishing guide, Chris Galvin, and Galvin's college friend, Gary Franks, who lives in Oxford, Ohio.
Franks said he spotted a photo of Krasev on a newspaper website and called Galvin to ask whether Krasev was on a ski trip they all took together. Galvin recalled Krasev as a man he befriended in Denver named "Danny Kaiser."
"I'd had my morning caffeine and was on my laptop and realized the guy in the picture looked kind of familiar," Franks said Friday from his home in Ohio.
Franks and Galvin remembered Krasev as an avid chess player, one of the details mentioned by investigators a week earlier in the State Department bulletin.
Galvin said Friday he met "Danny" when Krasev was tending bar at a Denver pizzeria, and they frequently met to play poker, chess and pool.
He said Krasev was also a competitive tennis player who spoke several languages, including Romanian, but was vague about his past.
Krasev seemed to have plenty of money, but lived modestly, which led Galvin to wonder if he came from a rich family and simply was trying to be independent.
"He liked to live off the grid," Galvin said, "and come and go as he pleased."
Galvin added he found Krasev to be very intelligent and a good friend "with a really good sense of humor" who had a very positive outlook but always remained "enigmatic."
Galvin said he remains supportive of Krasev and believes there is nothing sinister in his past, as suggested by the lack of any evidence of a criminal record or any fingerprints on file with law enforcement agencies.
Krasev lived in the basement of a Denver house owned by an elderly woman before he moved to Oregon to be close to another woman his attorney has said he considered to be a surrogate grandmother.
He was hired by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in 2002 and was an investigator for the agency based in Bend in Central Oregon and in Nyssa on the Idaho border.
Krasev resigned last week but former co-workers have repeatedly said he was well-liked and respected. He passed state background checks and his arrest and the revelation of his true identity shocked them and OLCC officials.
Krasev remained in federal custody in Portland on Friday pending a request by his attorney for another hearing on a challenge by prosecutors to a pretrial release order that would allow home detention with electronic monitoring at his house in Bend.
His next scheduled appearance is an arraignment hearing on June 14.
Amy Evers, who was 6 when her brother, Jason, was kidnapped and killed in Ohio, has been tracking the investigation and said she will be happy when the family finally finds out why Krasev changed his name and assumed Jason's identity.
Another man was convicted in Jason's death and is up for a parole hearing in Ohio next week, and Evers said the arrest of Krasev has added to the emotional weight the family is feeling.
"We've got a lot on our plate right now," Evers said.