Greybull Man Lives as Dead Idaho Man for 50 Years
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 11, 2022
A Greybull man pretended to be an Idaho man for 50 years but now faces prison and fines for his half-a-century ruse.
The Cowboy State Daily reports that 85-year-old Peter Jeremy Martin has been charged with multiple crimes in U.S. District Court. His charges include making false statements, aggravated identity theft, and making false statements in a passport application.
For 50 years, Peter Jeremy Martin has been living as James Delbert Libbey, an Idaho resident who died in 1964. Martin assumed Libbey’s identity in 1970.
Martin had a passport and driver’s license under Libbey’s name, according to court documents. However, when he applied for a new passport in January 2021, an investigation into Martin revealed that he had assumed the identity of Libbey, who was born in 1941 and died in 1964.
Martin was actually born in 1937 and has an extensive criminal record. He has previously been convicted of and incarcerated for numerous crimes – theft, armed robbery, burglary, attempted murder, and prison escape in Arkansas and Wyoming – between 1956 and 1967.
Martin was paroled from the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1967 but disappeared from public record around 1970. The Social Security Administration issued a new social security number for James Delbert Libbey that same year.
Martin’s downfall was triggered by – of all things – a passport application.
In November 2021, two Diplomatic Security Service special agents interviewed Martin at his home in Greybull.
Upon initial contact, Martin appeared at the door armed with a large revolver in a sling holster on his hip. He complained to the agents about the long delay in receiving his passport.
One agent told Martin that to complete his passport application, he needed to confirm the information on his application and answer some biographical questions. Martin said this was unusual, as he had received two other passports in the past.
Martin was asked simple questions: his parents’ names, his birthdate, and the high school he attended. He was hesitant and took some time to answer. His wife, Heather Libbey, attempted to coach her husband on the answers.
Martin asked why the agent was questioning him, and the agent responded that it was because his two previous passports and current application were issued under a dead man’s name.
Martin asked if he had to continue answering questions and again said he had already been issued two passports. He also asked what kind of trouble he was in and whether he should talk to an attorney.
The agent said if Martin had lied on his passport application, he would have committed fraud. Martin asked how long he could go to prison, but the agent said he could not provide legal advice.
“Well, I think this interview is over,” Martin said. “I shouldn’t answer any other questions.”