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Mom arrested in Calif. after 32 years on the lam

A woman who escaped from a Detroit prison 32 years ago has been arrested in San Diego, where she was married with three children and living under a false name , authorities said.
Image: Susan Lefevre, Marie Walsh
This undated image provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections shows a booking photograph of Susan Lefevre, now known as Marie Walsh.Anonymous / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A woman who escaped from a Detroit prison 32 years ago has been arrested in San Diego, where she was married with three children and living under a false name, authorities said.

Susan LeFevre, who had been using the name Marie Walsh, was arrested April 24 by federal marshals at her home in the posh Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego. An anonymous caller tipped Michigan officials to her location.

Her husband said Wednesday that the wife he knew was kind and compassionate.

"We're still just getting over this but it's been a tremendous shock to us," said Alan Walsh, her husband of 23 years. He said the pair met in California and have three children.

The U.S. Marshals said in a statement that LeFevre initially denied her identity but admitted it once she was confronted with the fingerprint evidence. She told deputies that her husband and children knew nothing of her past.

This undated image provided by the Walsh family shows Susan LeFevre, now known as Marie Walsh, who, after 32 years on the lam from a Michigan prison, was arrested Thursday April 29, 2008, by federal marshals at her home in the posh Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego. An anonymous caller tipped Michigan officials to her location. (AP Photo/courtesy of Walsh family) ** NO SALES **Anonymous / courtesy Walsh family

LeFevre, 53, of Saginaw County, Mich., walked out of the Detroit House of Corrections, now known as the Robert Scott Correctional Facility, in February 1976 after serving the first year of her 10- to 20-year sentence on state drug charges.

She was charged with escape but was not traced until marshals matched her fingerprints to California driver's license records for Marie Walsh.

Alan Walsh said they lived in San Diego for 10 years.

He described his wife as a woman of honorable character who had devoted her life to protecting her family's well-being.

"Our family is threatened to be destroyed by something that happened to her as a 19-year-old teenager 34 years ago in Michigan," Walsh said.

LeFevre is in custody at a women's jail in San Diego awaiting extradition to Michigan, Walsh said.