Police find OH felon to be dead 43 years after prison escape

chillicothe, ohio prisoner escaped
In the course of their investigation, police found that Shirley Campbell, above, died in 2004.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The U.S. Marshals Service announced Thursday that a man they described as one of Ohio’s most violent prison escapees has been found to be dead, nearly 43 years after escaping from a state correctional program.

The U.S. Marshals’ newly created Cold Case Unit tracked down convicted felon Shirley Campbell, who fled from the Chillicothe Institutional Work Farm in 1972. The Cold Case Unit recently determined that Campbell, who has been deceased since 2004, was living under a new identity in New Mexico and had married and worked as an employment counselor before his death, according to a press release from the U.S. Marshals.

Campbell was convicted in 1958 for the death of a 19-year-old student nurse, Sylvesta Andy, who he sexually assaulted during an elevator ride to the roof of Hamilton Hospital in the Cincinnati area. Police said Campbell then pushed Andy off the fifth floor roof, resulting in her death.

Campbell had been sentenced to life in prison but was later granted work permission in 1972 at the work farm, from which he fled and was unable to be located by police.

The U.S. Marshals began its investigation into Campbell in April and said they found that Campbell had been living as Edward Davis. In order to conceal his identity from others, U.S. Marshalls said Campbell claimed he was adopted and that he had served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

With assistance from other branches of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, investigators found that Campbell married a woman in the Roswell, New Mexico area who didn’t know about his past and earned his degree from Eastern New Mexico University, also attending graduate school under the false name.

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