Canadian who allegedly escaped prison in 1973 found living in California
Stony Mountain Institution in Stony Mountain, Man. is pictured in this file photo. (CTV News Winnipeg)
TORONTO -- A Canadian who allegedly escaped prison nearly 50 years ago has been arrested in California, where he was apparently living on a quiet cul-de-sac under an assumed name.
John Paul Halleux was taken into custody Wednesday morning after surrendering himself at an office of the U.S. Marshals Service, a spokesperson for the service told CTVNews.ca.
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, the 74-year-old man is not eligible for bail.
KOVR-TV in Sacramento reports that Halleux has been wanted in Canada since September 1973, when he allegedly escaped from Stony Mountain Institution outside Winnipeg.
Court documents obtained by KOVR-TV show that he has also used the names Jean-Paul Healleux, Joseph Paul Halleux and Joseph Rivard, but his neighbours knew him as Thomas Coy.
George Salter, who lives on the same street in Sacramento County, described Halleux as "a normal guy" and was astonished to learn of his alleged history.
"He escaped from prison? Wow. That just goes to show you never know who your neighbours are," he said.
The name Thomas Coy appears to have been taken from a nearby cemetery, where a gravestone bearing that name memorializes someone who died in 1949 at the age of two.
According to the court documents, Halleux escaped from Stony Mountain while serving a sentence for breaking into a lumber yard while on parole after a previous burglary.
Halleux remains in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail as he awaits extradition to Canada.