Mom's obituary helps cops track down man on the run for nearly 40 years

Investigators on Thursday caught a Texas man almost 40 years after he broke out of prison in Oklahoma -- using his mother's obituary as a major clue.

Stephen Michael Paris, 58, was arrested in Houston after detectives said the obituary for his mother in Houston listed a son named Stephen Chavez, the same alias he used while living and working in the Houston area. Fingerprints confirmed his identity.

In this photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Stephen Michael Paris is pictured following his capture in Houston, Texas, Thursday, April 12, 2018, nearly 40 years after he walked away from Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft, Okla. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP)

In this photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Stephen Michael Paris is pictured following his capture in Houston, Texas, Thursday, April 12, 2018, nearly 40 years after he walked away from Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft, Okla.  (AP)

Once featured on the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ “Most Wanted” list, Paris broke out of the Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in October 1981.

He had served roughly 19 months of a nine-year sentence for drug possession and distribution.

Paris also was featured on the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' "Most Wanted" list.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.