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Convicted Killer Caught 35 Years After Prison Escape

A convicted murderer who escaped from an Indiana prison 35 years ago was found living quietly in a small Tennessee town, authorities said Tuesday.

Linda Darby, 64, was arrested Friday in Pulaski, Tenn., where she was going by the name Linda Joe McElroy. Darby was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 for her husband's murder, but she escaped in March 1972 from the Indiana Women's Prison in Indianapolis by climbing over a barbed-wire fence.

Pulaski police Capt. John Dickey said that Darby had been living a quiet life in the town some 70 miles south of Nashville for about 30 years.

"This woman has led an exemplary life in Pulaski," Dickey said. "There is no record of any criminal activity here whatsoever."

Darby, who was originally from Hammond, Ind., has waived extradition from Tennessee, said Karen Cantou Grubbs, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Correction. She is being held at the Giles County, Tenn., Jail.

Dickey said investigators in Indiana had contacted the Pulaski Police Department about Darby and Indiana and Tennessee authorities worked together to make the identification and arrest.

Her arrest came two weeks after the start of the Indiana Department of Correction's new Indiana Fugitive Apprehension Unit, which aids in the recapture of offenders who have escaped from confinement, fled residential programs or vanished while on parole.

Since the unit's creation, two other fugitives have been identified and apprehended. DOC officials said that about 300 Indiana fugitives remain at large.