ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 29 (UPI) -- Police in Alaska have arrested a Wyoming fugitive who escaped from a state hospital 31 years ago, officials said.
Joseph Welch, 57, was serving time for robbery and forgery in 1980 when he made his escape from a hospital where he was receiving drug and alcohol counseling, a spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Corrections said. He was 26 when he escaped.
By the time a warrant was issued on a national database, he had fled the state. He later married and moved to Alaska, where he became a construction superintendent in Wasilla, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.
Welch was taken into custody Tuesday as he ate dinner at the Tidepool Cafe in the Kachemak Bay community of Seldovia.
The newspaper said Wyoming authorities alerted Alaska officials after Welch's Wyoming corrections file was left on a department clerk's desk and a computer check showed he had an Alaska driver's license.
His wife, Donna, told the newspaper she knew her husband had a troubled past but had no idea he was a fugitive from justice. The couple are in the process of divorcing in part because of his frequent traveling for work, she said.