MODESTO, Calif. - You know your own name, right? How sure are you?
One California man thought he knew his, until authorities told him the only name he's ever known was stolen from a dead person.
Mark Chacon has built a life, a home and a loving family in Modesto for the past 50 years. Now the 63-year-old grandfather fears that could all be stripped away. "At that time, I can't think of nothing, just in my mind I said, 'I don't know what I did or what happened,'" said Chacon.
The Chacon family told KTXL the California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused Mark Chacon of identity theft.
His daughter, Tina Aguilar, says its all a big mixup. "It's not like he lived underground. I mean, he raised three kids, he bought a home, he worked the same job for 45 years."
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Chacon says he got a letter from the DMV back in October 2017. It stated he needed to renew his license and that the department placed a control stop on his record. The family says all the DMV would say is that he's under investigation.
A month later police, officers swarmed their home. Chacon was handcuffed and taken in. Vickie, Chacon's wife of 40 years, says they had no idea what was happening until an officer spoke up. "'You know your husband's up for identity theft' and I said, 'What?'" she said. "Well, when it all went happened it was very frightening, very scary."
The family posted bail, but authorities took his driver's license, his birth certificate and his identity. Aguilar says, "He has no ID. He's a John Doe."
A deputy district attorney in Stanislaus County told KTXL that the DMV did refer the Chacon case to them. They ultimately decided not to file charges against Chacon because they did not find any criminal intent nor criminal history.
Soon after, the family was handed a death certificate for a Mark Chacon, who only lived for 8 days. The same Chacon is named on the Tulare County birth certificate his mother Eva Hernandez had given him. She died in 2013.
"There's nobody to talk to, to get any definitive answers," said Aguilar. "We don't know who he is. He could be a stolen child."
Chacon says he first saw his birth certificate when he needed a driver's license as a teenager. Now, the family fears he'll be deported. Chacon stays locked up in his own home.
"Because he has no name and I'm scared they're going to take him away from me," said Vickie Chacon.
The family says they were given two options: Start over with a new name or fight.
"It's the only thing that we've been after is to restore what's his, what he's worked all his life for," said Aguilar.