NC Wanted

Prison escapee arrested in Lillington after decades on the run

Posted July 20, 2015 3:00 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2015 12:17 a.m. EDT

— Brenda G. Lucas had 35 years of freedom before her arrest last week in Lillington, authorities said Monday.

Lucas, 65, was convicted of drug possession charges in Lenoir County in July 1979, but she escaped six months into her three-year sentence, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Lillington police arrested her at the request of the FBI, where she was on a long-term escapee list.

Authorities said they believe Lucas lived in Lillington for three years and went by the alias of Brenda Turner.

“That is amazing to me, that someone could run for 35 years,” said Lillington Police Chief Frank Powers. “We do know she bounced around from state-to-state for a long time—Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina."

Lucas was being held Monday in the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

“Not many folks had heard about her around town. Initially she was surprised, and then I think the relief set in," Powers said. "She was telling someone the truth for the first time in a long time, probably.”

Acree said it is up to the parole commission to determine how long she will have to serve after being captured.