Image: Tallchief
Isaac Brekken  /  AP
Heather Catherine Tallchief, flanked by attorneys, turns herself in to authorities in Las Vegas on Thursday, 12 years after she allegedly drove off in an armored car containing $3.1 million.
updated 9/15/2005 7:43:16 PM ET 2005-09-15T23:43:16

A fugitive wanted by the FBI for allegedly participating in a $3.1 million armored truck heist surrendered Thursday after more than 10 years on the run.

Heather Catherine Tallchief is accused of driving an armored truck loaded with cash away from the Circus Circus casino in October 1993. Speaking to reporters before she gave herself up, Tallchief, one of a handful of women ever on the FBI list, acknowledged her role.

"I truly feel this is the right thing to do," Tallchief said.

Her lawyer said her boyfriend, also accused in the heist, "brainwashed" her into participating.

Attorney Robert Axelrod, her lawyer, was with Tallchief when she surrendered at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. He said she was tired of hiding, and wanted her 10-year-old son to have a chance at living a normal life.

A message seeking comment from the FBI office in Las Vegas was not immediately returned.

Claims she was following boyfriend's instructions
Axelrod said Tallchief was an impressionable 21-year-old who blindly followed a persuasive older boyfriend in the Oct. 1, 1993, theft. The boyfriend, Roberto Solis, is now 60 and is still a fugitive on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

Tallchief said she was only following Solis' instructions and doesn't know where Solis is now, although they have a son together.

"He brainwashed her, as surely as a Manson kind of character (or) a Jim Jones kind of character," Axelrod said.

Tallchief eluded authorities by living under an assumed name and working as a maid and at other cash jobs in Amsterdam, Netherlands, her lawyer said.

Police said Tallchief was employed for several months as a driver for Loomis Armored Inc. before she disappeared with a truck loaded with $100 and $20 bills while co-workers filled automatic teller machines inside the casino.

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Video: Off the lam

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