Fugitive for 37 Years Caught – 'Eyes Gave Her Away'

Fugitive for 37 Years Caught – 'Eyes Gave Her Away'
Judy Lynn Hayman in the 1970s
Michigan Department of Corrections/AP

02/06/2014 AT 12:25 PM EST

A Michigan officer's decision to look through old files on fugitives led investigators to a woman who escaped from a Michigan prison 37 years ago and was living in San Diego, authorities said Wednesday.

Judy Lynn Hayman, 60, will be returned to Michigan to complete her sentence for attempted larceny.

San Diego police on Monday went to an apartment where a woman matching Hayman's description answered the door. She identified herself as Jamie Lewis and produced government documents with the name, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said.

Officers, however, remained suspicious because of inconsistencies in her story and her resemblance to an old Michigan mug shot they were holding.



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

The officers took her to a police station, where she eventually acknowledged being Hayman, Mayer said.

It will be up to the state Parole Board to determine how long Hayman will be imprisoned. She had served eight months of an 18- to 24-month sentence for attempting to steal clothes from a Detroit-area store. She could face additional time for escaping.

Hayman's capture wasn't the result of an intense search. It happened mostly because of winter weather and an officer's decision to blow the dust off old files.

Lt. Charles Levens of the Michigan Corrections Department pursues parole violators but recent severe weather had kept him in the office and off icy roads. He requested the fingerprint cards for all old escapees and sent them to the FBI.

Hayman's fingerprints matched those of a woman who had been arrested in San Diego.

Hayman is being held in a San Diego County jail awaiting extradition to Michigan, where she escaped from the Ypsilanti prison in 1977, Mayer said. He did not know if she had retained an attorney, and no court date had been set.

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