Escaped Ohio murder convict captured in St. Paul after 37 years

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Oscar Juarez

The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted murderer who escaped an Ohio prison in 1978 has been captured in Minnesota. Oscar Juarez, 66, was a most-wanted fugitive in Ohio, but he was living in a basement apartment in St. Paul, Minn. under the name Eleasor Morales Moreno.

Juarez was serving a life sentence for the 1975 murder of a Toledo man. He made his escape 37 years ago by sawing through the bars of his cell at the state prison in Marion, Ohio, then cutting through a fence. He also ripped a page from the movies by putting a dummy in his bed and covering it with blankets.  

Juarez assumed numerous false identities over the last 4 decades, but he was arrested Thursday night at his apartment at 382 Pierce Street in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. The landlord gave Fox 9 a tour of the unit, which Juarez called home since June of 2007. The apartment had a pile of sunglasses, and the landlord said Juarez had covered the windows with aluminum foil, but it was taken down for a violation of fire code.

“This was one of our oldest cases that many believed to be impossible to solve," said Ohio Adult Parole Authority Regional Director Todd Ishee. "Juarez was one of our most sought after fugitives due to the measures he took to escape and evade capture and his serving of a life sentence.”