William Ericson Ladd was born Sept. 14, 1974, in Atlanta. He died a month before his fifth birthday in a car accident. On what would have been Ladd’s 47th birthday, a flight attendant named William Ericson Ladd entered a secure crew member entrance at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where customs officials conducted an extensive interrogation.
Investigators say the senior United Airlines flight attendant had posed as the long-dead Georgia boy for two decades. Ultimately, he admitted to federal agents he was Ricardo César Guedes, a 49-year-old who owned a Lake Houston home, got married, bought a BMW, took out a loan and worked as a flight attendant, including 40 trips for United in 2020 — all in Ladd’s name.