1979 Georgia prison escapee arrested in Laurel County

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LONDON, Ky.  – A convicted killer who escaped from a Georgia prison in 1979 was arrested in Laurel County where police said he’d been living under the name of his deceased cousin.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office says Billy Burchfield used the alias Harold Arnold for the last 37 years.

Investigators were working on a tip from police in Georgia when they went to Burchfield’s home on East Laurel Road Wednesday night.

Burchfield submitted to fingerprinting and his identify was confirmed.

Police in Georgia said Burchfield escaped in 1979 while serving a 16-year sentence for manslaughter.

Neighbors say he was a kind man who went out of his way to help others. He owned a gas station and restaurant for several years.

“Families that couldn’t afford Thanksgiving, he would invite them over to the store and have a big meal cooked for them,” said Linda Baker.

Georgia has agreed to extradite Burchfield.

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