Fugitive Arrested In Florida 56 Years After Ohio Prison Break

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Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

A man who escaped from an Ohio prison in 1959 was arrested Tuesday in Melbourne, Florida, after spending more than half century living as a fugitive under an assumed identity, officials said.

Frank Freshwater, 79, escaped from the Sandusky Ohio Honor Farm after serving just seven months of a 20-year sentence for violating the terms of his probation for a manslaughter conviction, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

He then assumed the alias William H. Cox, living and working as a truck driver in several states before settling in Brevard County, east of Orlando, some 20 years ago, the sheriff’s office said.

“We couldn’t go with a picture and see if it’s that guy,” Major Tod Goodyear told the Associated Press. “You look different than you do 50 years ago.” Instead, authorities reportedly created a ruse to have Freshwater sign documents that they then matched to his decades-old fingerprints.

Freshwater is currently being held without bond while he awaits extradition to Ohio.

Before his escape from the prison farm, Freshwater had been incarcerated at the Ohio State Reformatory, a jail made famous as the location for the 1994 prison-break film The Shawshank Redemption.

 

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