INDIANAPOLIS -- To the people of Noblesville, he was Bob Hoquim, an entrepreneur who started an Internet provider used by the Indiana state government and the local police department.
But when he died recently of a heart attack, police discovered he wasn't Robert Paul Hoquim at all, but a fugitive who had been on the run for 14 years for the attempted murder of a Texas police officer.
His real name was John Paul Aleshe, though he had used more than 10 aliases. He also was wanted on warrants from Minnesota and Colorado.
Aleshe died in the bedroom of his $300,000 home on May 23.
Sgt. Tom Madden of the Noblesville Police Department was trying to track down relatives when he noticed something strange -- Hoquim's drivers license was a masterful fake. When he checked the social security number, it belonged to a St. Louis woman.
''That obviously piqued our curiosity a little more,'' Madden said Wednesday.
Investigators searched the businessman's rented storage area, where they found a Colorado driver's license in the glove compartment of an old pickup truck. The photo was of a younger Hoquim. The name was John Paul Aleshe.
That name pulled up several hits on a national crime database, and the FBI used fingerprints to confirm that the man known as Hoquim was in fact Aleshe.
Agent Marjorie Poche of the FBI's Dallas division was surprised Wednesday to hear about Aleshe's death.
Poche said Aleshe was wanted for the attempted murder of an Irving, Texas, police officer 14 years ago, and also wanted in Texas for possession of controlled substances, theft of property and theft of computer software, and in Colorado for issuing bad checks.
A profile in a 1996 issue of the Indianapolis Business Journal said Hoquim was a native of Greenfield, had postponed college to serve in Vietnam, earned a degree in mathematics from Indiana University and went on for a doctoral degree at Cal Tech.
Police now say none of that's true.
But he did start IQuest Network Services in 1992 and it blossomed into a successful Internet provider.
''Maybe he just came to Indiana with an idea and wanted to start over,'' Detective Brett Reichart said. ''He was the nice guy that started the hugely successful Internet provider.''
Aleshe sold IQuest in February so he could spend more time pursuing his new interest, auto racing. Jack Carr, the chief executive officer of IQuest Internet LLC, said neither he nor anyone else at the company knew anything about his prior life.
''We're just shocked,'' Carr said. ''We knew him as Bob Hoquim. That's all we knew about him.''
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.