Missing Persons: Return of a Runaway Dad

Most people know the urge to chuck it all. Almost two years ago, William Catterson acted on that dark impulse. He worked nights as an assistant manager of a fast-food restaurant; his wife worked days as a teacher, leaving Catterson at home in Lodi, N.J., to take care of their two small children. The marriage became strained. One night, after calling to say he would be home late from work, Catterson took a bus to Atlantic City, and then headed for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he lived and worked under an assumed name.

Last week Catterson saw his photo in an...

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