UK & World News

  • 6 February 2014, 10:50

Female Fugitive Found 37 Years After Escape

A 60-year-old woman who escaped from a Michigan prison 37 years ago has been captured in San Diego.

Judy Lynn Haymanmade her flight from justice in 1977 after serving eight months for attempting to steal clothes from a Detroit-area store.

She was tracked down after severe winter weather forced a Michigan corrections officer to stay indoors, prompting him to dust off old files.

Lieutenant Charles Levenssent fingerprint requests to the FBI on all of the old cases and Hayman's matched those of a woman arrested in San Diego.

Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Corrections Department, said: "We can't just write it off. We don't have the ability to say, 'It's been a long time. You're free to go.'"

San Diego police went to an apartment in the city's Hillcrest neighbourhood, where a woman matching Hayman's description answered the door.

She identified herself as Jamie Lewis and produced government documents with the name, San Diego police LtKevin Mayer said.

Officers, however, remained suspicious because of inconsistencies in her story and her resemblance to an old Michigan mug shot.

"Her eyes gave her away," Lt Mayer said. "The eyes in the picture matched the eyes of this woman."

It was not immediately clear how long Hayman had been living in San Diego. Her 32-year-old son was visiting when police arrived, and officers said he appeared stunned by their questions.

"This seemed very much a surprise to him," Lt Mayer said.

The officers took Hayman to a police station, where she eventually acknowledged her identity.

She will be returned to Michigan to complete her sentence, and could face additional time for escaping.

Neighbours said Hayman lived in the complex for several years and mostly kept to herself.

Maria Lopez told the U-T San Diego newspaper that Hayman did not appear to have a job.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

Advertisement