Escaped South Carolina convict recaptured after 40 years on the run

Escaped South Carolina convict recaptured after 40 years on the run

A prison convict who walked away from a South Carolina work crew in 1979 has been apprehended and is back in custody after 40 years on the run, state

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A prison convict who walked away from a South Carolina work crew in 1979 has been apprehended and is back in custody after 40 years on the run, state corrections officials say.

Jose Chico Romero, now 64, was serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery on Dec. 13, 1979, when he escaped from custody. He was finally apprehended Wednesday in Delaware, South Carolina Department of Corrections director Bryan Stirling said.

“As we saw with other escapes, I don’t care if you are gone for 40 minutes or 40 years, we are not going to stop looking for you. You are always going to have to be looking over your back,” Stirling said at a Thursday press conference in Columbia.

Officials said Romero was finally caught after a chance encounter with police in Dover, Del., on Dec. 28. Investigating a loitering complaint, authorities discovered a man using a fake ID, and after running his fingerprints identified him as a the long-escaped convict. Corrections officials said Romero was being held in Delaware but will be returned to South Carolina and be required to serve the remainder of his original sentence — about seven years — plus any additional time added for an escape conviction.