Escapee Surrenders After 39 Years—for Health Care

Clarence David Moore recently suffered a stroke
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2015 9:30 AM CDT
Inmate Surrenders After 39 Years —for Prison Health Care
Clarence David Moore appears in this booking photo.   (Franklin County Regional Jail)

Clarence David Moore escaped from North Carolina's Henderson County Prison Unit on Aug. 6, 1976, and was never heard from again—until he turned himself in to police in Kentucky this week, citing his poor health and lack of insurance. Moore, 66, had previously escaped from state prisons in 1971 and 1972 while serving an 11-year sentence for larceny, NBC News reports. He had been living as "Ronnie Dickerson" or "Ronnie Dickinson" for much of the last 39 years, even keeping his past a secret from a female companion, reports. An arrest warrant was even issued for his alias after Moore, without identification, ran into police after a 2009 traffic accident. No one suspected his true identity until he called police on Monday.

He said, "I need to make this right and get through this," a sheriff tells WHAS11. "You can't make this up." Police arranged to pick Moore up in Frankfort, where he had been living since at least 2009, and found him partially paralyzed from a recent stroke. Moore also has diabetes, WRAL reports, but couldn't get treatment without a valid Social Security number. Authorities took him to a hospital for a medical evaluation before moving him to the Franklin County Regional Jail, where he's being held without bond. A Department of Public Safety rep says Moore will be returned to North Carolina "to serve the remainder of his sentence" if he agrees to extradition. If he doesn't, "then a more complicated legal process begins to get him returned." (A woman was captured last year after 36 years on the run.)

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