Philadelphia PA. Oct. 25, 2007
Maximo Jurado spent 28 years as a fugitive, a long run that came to an end today when dozens of law enforcement officers confronted him at his girlfriend’s rowhouse in Philadelphia.
Jurado, who escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979, made a brief claim to be someone named Juan before officers showed him an old prison photo.
“It’s me,” Jurado said, according to the Associated Press.
The 75-year-old is being jailed in Philadelphia until he can be extradited to New Jersey, where he will face the remainder of his three- to five-year prison sentence on drug charges from Hudson County, N.J.
He also could face an escape charge in Monmouth County, N.J., where he was housed at the now-closed minimum-security Marlboro Camp. Prisoners there worked at the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital, which also is closed.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections keeps a list of escapees; the vast majority are inmates who walked away from residential halfway houses within the last several years.
Today, the list had 132 names, only seven of them from 1979 or earlier.
Deidre Fedkenheuer, a corrections spokeswoman, said a special fugitive unit pursues the escapees.
“They like to say, ‘There are no cold cases, only old cases,’ ” she said.
She said investigators tracked Jurado through driver’s licenses he obtained using aliases, as well as through other techniques.
Daniel Klotz, the senior corrections investigator on the case, said the break came when authorities learned that Jurado was using the alias Juan Osorio.
During his time as a fugitive, Jurado lived in New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia, Fedkenheuer said, and he appears to have stayed out of trouble through those years.
If he had been arrested, she said, his true identity and his status as a fugitive would have been discovered through his fingerprints.
Jurado told the officers who came for him around 10 a.m. today that the fear of getting sent back to prison helped him change his life.
“That’s when I decided to stay out of trouble,” he said.