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Frank Freshwaters Arrested: Fugitive Was on the Run for 56 Years

Image: Frank Freshwaters Arrested: Fugitive Was on the Run for 56 Years
(Brevard County Sheriff's Office/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 08:27 AM

Frank Freshwaters, who spent the last 56 years on the run from Ohio authorities, was arrested in Melbourne, Florida, Monday after police found him living in a trailer under a fake identity.

Freshwaters, a 79-year-old Akron, Ohio native, escaped from a low-security prison near Cleveland in 1959. He evaded justice for a second time in 1975 when West Virginia's governor refused to extradite him after he was arrested there, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Freshwaters had been in hiding ever since under the name William H. Cox.

U.S. Marshal Peter Elliot of the Northern District of Ohio told the Sentinel that the service's cold-case unit started reexamining Freshwaters' case three months ago and was able to "piece together" enough information to get the Brevard Sheriff's Office in Florida involved in the case for the last month.



Brevard Sheriff Office Major Tod Goodyear told The Associated Press that his office tricked Freshwaters into signing papers that allowed them to then match his fingerprints to those he gave while in prison more than five decades ago. He said law enforcement moved in when those came up a match.

After watching Freshwaters for a week, officials approached him and showed him his old prison mug photo.

"They showed him the pic, and he said he hadn't seen that guy in a long time," Goodyear told the AP. "Then he admitted it and basically said, 'You got me.'"

Freshwaters initially broke out of the Sandusky Honor Farm in 1959. He originally served time after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter stemming from a fatal auto-pedestrian accident, the Sentinel noted, but was thrown back in prison for violating the terms of his probation. That's when he escaped.

Goodyear told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Freshwaters had worked as a truck driver but was living off social security benefits in his secluded trailer when law enforcement caught up with him on Monday.

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Frank Freshwaters, who spent the last 56 years on the run from Ohio authorities, was arrested in Melbourne, Florida, Monday after police found him living in a trailer under a fake identity.
frank freshwaters, arrested, inmate, escaped
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2015-27-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 08:27 AM
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