Due to COVID-19, a prison escapee turns himself in after 30 years.
A 64-year-old prison escapee from New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has surrendered to authorities after being on the run for over 30 years.
Darko Desic turned himself in to authorities on Sunday after becoming homeless due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to local media station 7News.com.au.
According to the site, the Yugoslavian-born guy was 13 months into a three-and-a-half-year term for cannabis production when he used a hacksaw blade and bolt cutters to break out of the Grafton Correctional Center on the night of Aug. 1, 1992.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Desic has lived and worked as a laborer on Sydney’s Northern Beaches for the past 29 years.
“He stated he’s been living in Avalon for almost three decades, just doing labor and odd jobs for money,” a police source told the site. “He’s been absolutely law-abiding, never drawing attention to himself, never being talked to.”
Desic was also described as adding that he “never caused anyone any trouble,” thus no one suspected him, according to the source.
The pandemic, on the other hand, put an end to the jobs he was doing to get money.
“[COVID-19] halted all cash transactions,” a police source stated. “[Desic] had become homeless in recent weeks, and on Saturday night he slept on the beach and declared, ‘Stuff it, I’ll go back to prison where there’s a roof over my head.’”
Desic was accused with eluding legal custody and appeared in Central Local Court on Tuesday, when he was denied bail, according to an ABC report. He is scheduled to return to court later this month.
Desic claimed he escaped the prison in 1992 because he was afraid of being deported back to his native Yugoslavia, where he anticipated to be punished for departing without completing compulsory military service, authorities said.
On Wednesday, NSW, Australia’s most populated state, reported 1,259 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths, with an estimated population of 8.2 million as of December 2020. Since the outbreak began, the state has seen 46,818 cases and 254 deaths, bringing the overall number of cases to 46,818 and deaths to 254.
According to data released by Johns Hopkins University, Australia has registered 78,544 COVID-19 cases and 1,116 deaths so far.