Florida Prison Escapee Captured -- 31 Years Later

Convicted murderer Frederick Barrett was captured this morning by the U.S. Marshals Service, nearly 32 years after he hopped a few fences at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford during a power outage and disappeared.

Barrett, now 60, was found living in a marijuana grow house in Montrose County, Colorado, where he also had "a number" of guns in the place, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Officials say Barrett, who's been living under the name Neil Meltzer, escaped on August 17, 1979, more than eight years after he murdered his "traveling companion" on the Florida Turnpike on February 8, 1971.

The FDLE says he was traveling with a guy named Carl Ardolino and two other people.

Barrett apparently decided to choke out Ardolino -- who was driving the car.

Another passenger steered the car to the side of the road, then helped Barrett beat Ardolino unconscious. The two men then found a shallow ditch full of water and drowned Ardolino.

Aside from his escape charge in Florida, Barrett also faces charges of possession of a firearms by a convicted felon, and having a house chock full o' weed.

He's currently being held at the Montrose County Jail.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley