Man who escaped prison 37 years ago arrested in Kentucky

Billy Burchfield escaped prison in 1979 while serving 16-year sentence for manslaughter

A man who police say escaped from a Georgia prison in 1979 and eluded authorities for nearly four decades has been arrested in eastern Kentucky.

Police in Laurel County said 67-year-old Billy Burchfield was living under an assumed name, Harold Arnold, which he took from a cousin who had died.

Burchfield was serving a 16-year sentence for manslaughter when he escaped 37 years ago.

Laurel County Sheriff's spokesman Gilbert Acciardo said a tip from officers in Jackson County, Georgia, led them to the suspect.


Detectives went to a house in Laurel County and spoke with Burchfield, who submitted to fingerprinting.

Kentucky State Police and FBI officials used the prints to confirm his identity.