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Michigan fugitive missing for 37 years is found in San Diego

A woman that escaped from prison 37 years ago has been found in San Diego living under an assumed name. It's amazing that the prison still had her on their records missing, and they were still looking for her.

Judy Lynn Hayman
Judy Lynn Hayman
Michigan Department of Corrections

Judy Lynn Hayman escaped from the Ypslanti prison in Michican in 1977, after she was caught stealing clothes from a Detroit store and sentenced to 1 ½ years in prison. She was halfway through her sentence when she managed to break out of prison and take off, reports the Union Tribune.

Hayman, who was going by the alias of Jamie Lewis probably got the shock of her life when she opened the door on Monday with two police officers standing there asking her what her name was. The more she insisted it was Lewis the more they insisted she looked just like the old mugshot they had of her.

The police acted on a request they received from the Michigan Department of Corrections which sent them to the apartment in Hillcrest. Lt. Charles Levens of the Michigan Department of Corrections asked Investigator Tim Hardville to follow up on a fingerprint match for Hayman from an arrest under a different name last week.

Hardville found an address in San Diego and requested the San Diego Police Department to check it and see if Hayman was there.

When she answered the door, there was no doubt in San Diego Police Lt. Kevin Mayer's mind it was her, although she didn't admit to it until she was taken to the police station.

"Her eyes gave her away," Mayer told the Star Tribune. "The eyes in the picture matched the eyes of this woman."

The Michigan Department of Corrections has received criticism from the public because they believe they wasted their time pursuing Hayman for such a trivial crime from so long ago. In response, the authorities don't think it was a waste of time at all, and in fact was their duty.

"We can't just write it off," said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan on Tuesday. "We don't have the ability to say it's been a long time, you're free to go."