RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A year-long joint investigative effort by the NC Department of Public Safety and the FBI has resulted in the arrest, location or death confirmation of 43 long-term escapees from the North Carolina prison system.
This is a reduction of about 30 percent of the department’s remaining escape cases, many dating back to the 1960s or earlier, officials said in a press release.
A list of 12 “Most Wanted” escapees has been developed from those cases remaining unsolved and investigators are seeking the public’s help with any information on the whereabouts of these escapees.
“All of the most wanted escapees have been at large for many years and are likely living under different identities,” authorities say.
Of the 12 “Most Wanted” half of them were behind bars for murder, authorities said.
During the initiative, ten wanted fugitives were found at-large, arrested and returned to the state prison system to complete their sentences.
Fifteen escapees were found incarcerated in other states or in the federal prison system, many under aliases. Eighteen escapees were confirmed to be deceased or are believed to be dead and work is in progress to obtain death certificates.
Agents and analysts used a variety of investigative resources to locate the escaped inmates, but in order to protect those tools and techniques the FBI and DPS will not discuss them specifically, officials said. Facial recognition was not among the methods used, the NC Department of Public Safety said.
“Partnerships like ours with the FBI help build safer North Carolina communities every day,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry. “We appreciate the Bureau’s continuing support on this initiative to ensure that justice is served in these old fugitive cases.”
Anyone with information regarding these escapees is asked to contact the Department of Public Safety at (919) 838-3572.
Here is the list of those who are among the “Most Wanted” released by the NC Dept. of Public Safety:
Jerry Jones #0216472 – 1st Degree murder
(Accessory B/F) Escaped 10/6/1987 Assigned to: Robeson Correctional Center – Lumberton
Age today: 65 Along with his cousin Roger, shot and killed store owner Oscar Williams in White Oak, Robeson County on March 15, 1973.
Convicted 11/20/1974 and sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole.
Melvin Jones # 0217485 – 1st Degree murder
Escaped 10/2/1976 Assigned to: Halifax Correctional Center – Halifax (now closed)
Age today: 72 Convicted of 1st degree murder in Hertford County on 7/24/1963 in connection with the death of Mr. W.E. Worrell and sentenced to life in prison.
Parole eligible since December 1973.
Martin Pedron #0317000 – 2nd Degree murder
Escaped 6/23/1996 Assigned to: Tillery Correctional Center – Tillery
Age today: 50 Shot and killed Edward Montero in Vance County on 7/25/1993.
Pled guilty to 2nd degree murder in October 1993 and sentenced to maximum of 15 years with possibility of parole.
Angelberto Ortega #0306967 – 2nd Degree murder
Escaped: 11/22/1985 Assigned to: Rutherford Correctional Center – Spindale
Age today: 72 Convicted of 2nd degree murder in Surry County 3/28/1983 for the shooting death of Jesus Zavola and sentenced to maximum of 26 years with possibility of parole.
Robert McWilliams #0277217 – 2nd Degree murder
Escaped: 12/19/1977 Assigned to: Henderson Correctional Center – Hendersonville (now closed)
Age today: 68 Convicted of 2nd degree murder and common law robbery in Nash County 6/3/1970 in connection with the murder and robbery of William Manning.
Sentenced to 30 years maximum for murder and consecutive 10 years maximum for robbery.
Erasmo Tamayo #0398527 – 2nd Degree murder
Escaped: 10/13/1993 Assigned to: Davidson Correctional Center – Lexington
Age today: 56 On or about 7/15/1987, shot and killed Carlos Alberto Fuentes in a drug trafficking related murder in rural Onslow County.
Convicted of 2nd degree murder 8/9/1988 and sentenced to maximum of 50 years for murder with a concurrent 35 year maximum sentence for trafficking cocaine.
Richard Foster #0133687 – Manslaughter
Escaped: 12/12/1978 Assigned to: Henderson Correctional Center – Hendersonville (now closed)
Age today: 63
Convicted of manslaughter 3/17/1977 in Cumberland County in connection with the shooting death of Frank Anthony Sanders and sentenced to maximum of 16 years with possibility of parole.
Escaped after serving less than 2 years.
Efraim Perez – Robbery with dangerous weapon
Escaped: 6/20/1995 Assigned to: Sanford Correctional Center – Sanford
Age today: 44
Convicted 2/9/1993 in Cumberland County for Robbery with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to 20 years maximum with possibility of parole.
Stanley Rogers – Robbery with dangerous weapon
Escaped: 10/25/1996 Assigned to: Wilkes Correctional Center – North Wilkesboro
Age today: 59
Convicted 1/4/1994 in Carteret County for Robbery with Dangerous weapon and sentenced to maximum of 40 years with possibility of parole.
Escaped after serving less than three years.
Anthony Bobbitt – Armed Robbery
Escaped: 8/7/1980 Assigned to: Granville Correctional Center – Oxford
Age today: 58 Convicted 8/11/1975 in Vance County for armed robbery and sentenced to 30 years maximum with a possibility of parole.
Had served approximately 5 years at the time of escape.
Frank Bralick – Armed Robbery
Escaped: 1/26/1981 Assigned to: Triangle Correctional Center – Raleigh (now closed)
Age today: 59 Convicted 1/10/1978 in Cumberland County for armed robbery and sentenced to 15 years maximum with possibility of parole.
Had served approximately 3 years at the time of escape.
Linda Williams – Armed Robbery
Escaped: 6/17/1979 Assigned to: NC Correctional Institution for Women – Raleigh
Age today: 63 Convicted 12/1/1977 in Duplin County for armed robbery and sentenced to 40 years maximum with possibility of parole.
Escaped after having served approximately 2 years.