Ohio escapee arrested in Florida after 56 years on the run

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- An Akron man who has been on the run for 56 years after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter has been captured in Florida.

According to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service, Frank Freshwaters, 79, was arrested in Melbourne, Florida, Monday after an extensive investigation by the new Cold Case Unit of the U.S. Marshal's Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.

Authorities say Freshwaters was the driver of a vehicle involved in a car vs. pedestrian accident which resulted in a fatality in July 1957. Freshwaters pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one to 20 years in prison.

Initially, Freshwaters' sentence was suspended, and he was given probation for five years. Then on February 1959, he was found guilty of violating his probation, and his original sentence was imposed.

Freshwater served time at the infamous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, but authorities say he was able to earn the trust of prison officials and was moved to the Sandusky Honor Farm to finish his sentence.

On September 30, 1959, he escaped and fled the state.

Freshwaters was apprehended in West Virginia in 1975, but the governor refused to extradite him, and he was released.

Then, when the new U.S. Marshals Cold Case Unit was established earlier this year, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority requested assistance in locating him.

Freshwaters was found to be living under the alias William Harold Cox in Melbourne, Florida. He was arrested Monday without incident.

Authorities say Freshwaters admitted his identity during his arrest. He is set to be extradited back to Ohio.

"This was one of our oldest cases that many believed to be impossible to solve," said Ohio Adult Parole Authority Regional Director Todd Ishee.