OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension and Investigations agents, U.S. Marshals and Houston Police arrested a man Thursday who walked away in 1981 from Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft.
ODOC agents tracked Stephen M. Paris to Houston through the obituary of his mother who had recently died. During their investigation, they recognized his mother's name in the obituary notice, and saw that she had a son named Stephen Chavez of Houston.
Agents were able to confirm that Stephen Chavez was actually Paris, who walked away from JDCC, a minimum security prison for men, on Oct. 17, 1981. When he walked away, he was serving sentences for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance convictions out of Cleveland and Oklahoma counties.
In addition to Houston Police, agents with the Oklahoma Western District of the U.S. Marshals Service assisted in the investigation and arrest.
"This arrest took a huge amount of assistance from our partners in law enforcement," ODOC Director Joe M. Allbaugh said. "The Oklahoma Western District of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Houston Police Department deserve extra thanks for their efforts bringing this man to justice."
Paris was a senior employee of Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals at the time of his arrest Thursday. Agents said when they confronted him outside Bechtel's offices, he surrendered, and admitted to his true identity.
"This just goes to show that if you walk or run away from one of our facilities, we will find you and, ultimately, arrest you," Allbaugh said.
Paris was booked into the Harris County Jail on a no-bond warrant awaiting an extradition hearing before returning to Oklahoma.
There, he will serve out the remainder of his sentence, as well as that of any additional crimes for which he may be charged and convicted.
Stephen M. Paris is shown before he walked away in 1981 from Jess Dunn Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison for men located in Taft.
Stephen M. Paris is shown arrested on Thursday nearly 40 years after he walked away from Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft. He was arrested where he worked, Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals in Houston.