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Inmate Escaped U.S. Prison In 1979, Recaptured On New Year's Eve

An inmate who escaped from a South Carolina Department of Corrections work crew in 1979 was captured in Delaware on New Year's Day, according to the department.

Jose Chico Romero, 64, had been living under an assumed name when he was first arrested December 28, 2019 after showing Dover police a fake ID, according to Chrysti Shain, director of communications for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Police processed and released him under the fake name Arnaldo Figueroa but his fingerprints later came back as a match for wanted Romero.

He was arrested on Wednesday.

He is being held in Georgetown, Delaware, on a fugitive warrant and has waived extradition.

He is also charged with public intoxication, loitering, trespassing, forgery, criminal impersonation and being an out-of-state fugitive.

Romero was serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery when he managed to escape from a work crew in Anderson County, South Carolina, on December 13, 1979.

After he is returned to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Romero will be required to serve the remainder of his original sentence, which is about seven years, plus any time added for an escape conviction, Shain said.

His picture as inmate in the 1970s and after his arrest in 2020.

Inmate Escaped U.S. Prison In 1979, Recaptured On New Year's Eve