Carroll County prison escapee found after 48 years on the run

HARTFORD, Conn. — He was on the run for almost 48 years, but now a missing Georgia prison inmate is back behind bars after he was exposed in Connecticut.

Robert Stackowitz, 71, was arrested Monday by Connecticut state troopers and U.S. marshals at his home in Sherman, a town of about 3,600 people along the New York border. %

INLINE

%

He had been serving a 17-year sentence for robbery in August 1968 when he escaped from the infirmary at a prison work camp in ;Carrollton, Georgia, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

He was charged with robbery by force in 1966 in Henry County, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Stackowitz, who also went by the alias Robert Gordon, had been living alone and ran a boat repair business out of his home in Sherman.

Investigators said his application for Social Security benefits played a role in his capture.

Channel 2’s Tom Regan got a tour of the facility Wednesday where that inmate escaped nearly 50 years ago.

The Carroll County convict barracks was a foreboding place where inmates spent their nights in dank smelling rooms, behind bars after a long day on county work details.

The old prison building was built in 1934 as a prison work camp. The building is no longer in use.

For a short time, the barracks was Stackowitz’s home, where he was sentenced to spend 17 years.

Two years into his sentence, Stackowitz slipped away to freedom on Aug. 22, 1968. He was last seen in the barracks medical unit.

Carroll County Jail Warden Robert Jones told Regan that Stackowitz somehow slipped away from the infirmary only to be found nearly five decades later hundreds of miles away in Connecticut.

“What do you think was going through his mind when they knocked on his door?” Regan asked Jones.

“I'm sure he wasn't too happy about it. In his mind he's thinking, ‘The gig's up. They finally caught me,’" Jones said.

Connecticut State Trooper Michael Saraceno said Stackowitz was cooperative when law enforcement officers showed up at his house around 8 a.m. Monday.

"He was a little speechless," Saraceno said. "I think it's been so long that I think he reached a point in his head where he thought they would never find him."

Stackowitz will soon be sent back to Georgia and likely will pick up his prison sentence right where he left off, plus a few extra years for his escape.

(Information from the Associated Press used in this article)