Fugitive Caught After Nearly Forty Years On The Loose

by
Carol Nisar
Kentucky law enforcement tracked down a fugitive who escaped from a Georgia prison in 1979. The man was living under the radar using his dead cousin’s name.

On Wednesday, a man convicted for manslaughter who escaped from a Georgia prison in 1979 has been found and arrested in eastern Kentucky, Associated Press reports.

PrisonNearly forty years have passed since the now 67-year-old Billy Burchfield escaped from prison in 1979. He was recently discovered living under an assumed identity which he stole from a cousin, Harold Arnold, who has passed away.

Burchfield escaped from prison while serving a 16-year sentence for murder.

Laurel County Sherriff’s spokesman Gilbert Acciardo said that despite being identified through fingerprints, Arnold continues to deny that he is Burchfield.

Accardio further stated that Burchfield kept a low profile in Kentucky and was never arrested in the 37 years following his prison break.

The spokesman said,

“Probably somebody like that is going to fly under the radar. You (would) have to keep your nose extremely clean and apparently that's what he's done.”

Apparently a tip from officials in Jackson County, Georgia, led local detectives to Burchfield’s residence in Kentucky on Wednesday night.

Burchfield is being held as a fugitive in Kentucky until he is sent back to prison in Georgia to complete his sentence.

Burchfield’s profile must have not been low enough if he was discovered after all these years as a free man. 

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