A 66-year-old man who escaped a North Carolina prison nearly 40 years ago turned himself into authorities on Monday because he is in declining health and wants to go back to jail so he can receive taxpayer-funded health care.
Clarence David Moore has escaped from jail three times in his life, according to NBC News. He absconded in 1971 while serving an eight-year sentence for larceny. He was caught quickly but escaped again the next year. He remained free until 1975. After being re-captured, escaped again on Aug. 6, 1976 from the Henderson County, N.C. Prison Unit.
Since then, Moore, has lived off the grid. According to WKYT, he worked along the east coast for years, including on a fishing boat. He moved to the hills of central Kentucky in 2009, living under the alias Ronnie Dickerson with a woman who did not know about his past.
Moore did have an arrest warrant for contempt of court in Franklin Co., Ky. related to a traffic incident. But it was listed under Ronnie Dickerson, and authorities did not make the connection to Moore.
Moore, who recently suffered a stroke and is paraplegic, called the Franklin Co., Ky. sheriff’s office on Monday. He reportedly told law enforcement that he wanted to put his past behind him and also wanted to receive health care for his various ailments. Moore has been unable to obtain care because he has no insurance and no Social Security number for his alias.
When deputies arrived, they found Moore partially paralyzed. He was transported to the hospital and then to Franklin County Regional Jail, NBC News reported.
“You can’t make this up. It’s a remarkable story,” Franklin County sheriff Pat Melton said on Tuesday.
“He was very emotional, and was I think glad to get it all behind him,” Melton added.
Moore was arraigned on Tuesday and waived extradition back to North Carolina.