Yes this is true. No it's not stolen.
Father in law gave us his old iPhone 6. His wife was the apple person in their household, but she's no longer around.
I'm an android person and know little about Apple stuff.
It's locked to his AppleID. I have his ID and all his personal info, but can't unlock the phone. He has forgotten the password. Even trying to use the apple webpages to reset password/questions isn't successful as his email that it's linked to, is an old workplace that no longer exists.
I've reset the phone using some free software, and am now at the setup start thing, but still locked to his ID.
From what I'm reading, it's effectively a brick now without his password. Is that right? or does it have some value to someone?