U.S. Marshals said Friday they arrested a murderer who escaped from an Ohio prison in 1978 and eluded capture for 37 years despite being arrested twice while on the lam.
Oscar Juarez, 66, one of Ohio’s most wanted fugitives, was taken into custody Thursday night in St. Paul, Minnesota, at an apartment building on a tree-lined street.
“We know he was in several states over the years,” Pete Elliot, the U.S. marshal for northern Ohio, said. “It wasn’t one thing that led us to his doorstep. It was a number of things and good old-fashioned police work.”
Juarez escaped from the Marion Correctional Institution where he was serving a life sentence for killing a Toledo man in 1975.
He sawed through the bars of his cell and cut a hole in the prison’s fence, officials told Fox 8 in Cleveland. He even left a dummy in his bed and covered it with blankets, the station said.
The fugitive eluded capture for decades using fake names, while working as a welder and a machine operator. He was arrested in Texas and California but police in those states never discovered he was an escaped killer.
The aliases he used included Eleasor Morales Moreno, a woman’s name.
Juarez was surprised when marshals knocked on his door in St. Paul, Elliot told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
He denied he was man who escaped from Marion in 1978.
The marshals were able to positively identify him using fingerprints, the paper said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.