ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 6 (UPI) — A convicted murderer who’d been serving a life sentence at an Ohio prison when he escaped in 1978 has finally been captured after nearly four decades on the run, authorities said Friday.
Police with the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force caught up with Oscar Juarez in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday.
Juarez, alias Eleasor Morales Moreno, was convicted in the murder of a Toledo man in 1975. In April 1978, he escaped from Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution by sawing through the prison bars in his cell, officials said.
He also placed a dummy in his cell bed, officials said — which is similar to the way three men escaped from San Francisco’s Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1962.
Investigators said Juarez, 66, then spent decades on the run and assumed multiple phony identities — and was even arrested on a couple of occasions.
“One of the names, he was arrested back in 1981 in Oakland, California, for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, but he was bonded out real quick before they knew he was an escaped murderer,” U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott said. “He was then arrested again in 1988 in Dallas, Texas, for carrying a concealed weapon. And the same thing happened: he was arrested, under a fake identification, and bonded out and released and on the run again.”
After receiving information from authorities in Cleveland, Juarez was arrested at his Minnesota home Thursday evening.
“[He was[ quiet, kept to himself. I never had any complaint about him,” Juarez’s landlord, Seth Ludwig, said. “He paid his rent on time, he was like the ideal tenant to have. Never any outbursts or anything like that.”
Elliott said Juarez isn’t the only cold case capture the task force has made recently.
“We’ve caught individuals that escaped from prison in 1959 that were murderers and people that have murdered family members in the 1960’s; we’ve closed those cases,” he said. “This is another great case. It was a big get; this guy was an aggravated murderer who escaped.”