DNA testing helped to establish the identity of a USA World War II veteran. He had served with the Navy and was awarded a purple heart. The mysterious man, now identified as Robert Ivan Nichols, vanished in the 1960s. ABC News reported that federal authorities in the USA are now keen to know why he disappeared. At one stage of his disappearance, he used the stolen identity of an eight-year-old child.

Robert Nichol's son, Phillip last heard from his father via a letter in 1965 that had a postmark of Napa, California on it. After that, he simply disappeared.

He remained missing until March 2018, when DNA tests proved his links to a living relative.

The story gets even more complicated, as at one stage the theft of the identity of a child had him named as Joseph Chandler. Chandler was the victim of a vehicle accident in 1945. The theft of the ID came thirteen years after his disappearance. Nothing is known about what name he may have used before that of Chandler.

Robert Ivan Nichols lived under the name of Chandler and committed suicide in 2002

Robert Ivan Nichols died from suicide in Eastlake, Ohio in 2002, according to the ABC report. Originally thought to be Chandler, it was determined that he was an imposter. U.S. Marshal Peter Elliot said in a news conference on Thursday, June 21, that an investigation was started as he had left $82,000 in a bank account with no next of kin.

The case went cold but was revived in 2014 when it was handed over to U.S. Marshals. Their investigations revealed that "Chandler" had been to a hospital for an operation a few years before he died. Luckily there was a sample of tissue available.

DNA test revealed his real identity in 2018

ABC noted that the DNA taken from Phillip Nichols matched that of "Chandler." This then revealed that he was in fact, Robert Ivan Nichols.

They also mentioned that Phillip, the son of Robert said at the news conference that he does hold any animosity over it. He noted that he had hoped that his Dad lived a good and happy life somewhere.

Federal authorities hope for information about the mysterious man

But now authorities are keen to find out why he disappeared and what he may have been up to.

It has emerged that he was extremely secretive and was considered "eccentric" by people who knew him as "Chandler." People had mentioned to investigators that he always had a suitcase ready to go and would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time.

Elliot said that the fact that Robert wanted to hide his identity even beyond the grave was strange. He noted that there may be someone out there who knows something about the mysterious WWII veteran who simply vanished in the 1960s.