Homeowner Carl Sear told the news station that his mother-in-law made the call after she spotted Hixson. In the garage, he found a hat that matched the one Hixson was wearing in a missing person image released by Broomfield police.
“When you see something like this, it makes it real," Sear told KUSA as he held the hat. "He’s a good guy. I just want him to have this back."
Hixson was able to provide Weld County deputies only with his first name when authorities found him, according to KUSA. His identity was discovered when deputies ran his fingerprints.
The Weld County District Attorney’s Office told KUSA that it has until Friday to determine whether to formally charge Hixson with second-degree burglary.
“I don’t want anything bad (to) happen to him,” Sear told KUSA. “There is no way I want him to face charges for this.”
Hixson joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduating from high school in 2002, according to a 2014 report from the Craig Daily Press. He lost his eye in 2004 when a mortar round went off in front of him as he and other servicemen and women worked to capture Fallujah from insurgents, the newspaper reported. He retired from the Marines in 2011.