31 Years Later, Wyoming Fugitive Caught in Alaska

Joseph Welch was living an ordinary life
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2012 12:44 PM CDT
31 Years Later, Wyoming Fugitive Caught in Alaska

An Alaska man's life on the lam is coming to an end after more than three decades. Police arrested 57-year-old Joseph Welch as he ate dinner in a restaurant in the small community of Seldovia, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Welch escaped from the custody of Wyoming authorities in 1981, after being convicted of robbery and forgery in 1980. He made his way to Alaska, got married, and has worked quietly for years as a construction superintendent.

A records clerk in his old state conducting a routine check discovered that Welch now had an Alaskan driver's license, and Alaska troopers took it from there. He'll be flown back to Wyoming soon. "It upset me quite a bit, because I had no idea," says his wife, who was in the process of divorcing Welch before his past came to light. "It's a big mystery to all of us, except maybe him, and he's not being forthcoming about it. He said, 'Oh well, it is what it is.'" (More Alaska stories.)

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