Nearly 56 years later, Ohio prison escapee caught in Florida

Escapee from Ohio prison nabbed in Florida

A man who escaped prison nearly 56 years ago was captured by U.S. marshals this week in Florida, where he had lived under an alias.

Frank Freshwaters, 79, was apprehended Monday in Melbourne, Fla., where he was using the name William Harold Cox, according to U.S. marshals. 

In 1957, Freshwaters was the driver of a car that struck and killed a pedestrian in Ohio. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one to 20 years in prison. However, a judge gave him five years' probation.

Two years later, he was found guilty of violating that probation and was ordered to serve out his original term at the Sandusky Honor Farm, where in September 1959 he escaped, according to a statement released by U.S. marshals.

Freshwaters is being held in the Brevard County, Fla., sheriff's office awaiting an extradition hearing. A request for comment from U.S. marshals was not immediately returned Wednesday. 

In October 1975, Freshwaters was apprehended in Charleston, W.V., but then-Gov. Arch A. Moore refused to extradite Freshwaters to Ohio. He was released and again went into hiding, according to U.S. marshals. 

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott of Ohio said his Cold Case Unit, formed three months ago, renewed its investigation into Freshwaters' whereabouts. 

"Working together with all of our law enforcement partners in Ohio, West Virginia and Florida, we were able to close one of our state's oldest escape warrants and I am proud of all the efforts our team put forth into this investigation,” Elliott said in a statement.

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