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Ex-Deputy’s Life on the Run Ends 23 Years Later

Former Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Keenan May, 60, was arrested in Eagle River, Alaska, June 20.

A former Florida deputy was arrested after spending 23 years on the run.
A former Florida deputy was arrested after spending 23 years on the run.

After years of living under his deceased stepbrother’s name, a former Manatee County Sheriff’s deputy wanted for capital sexual battery has been arrested in Alaska.

Joseph Keenan May, 60, has been on the run since 1991 after a 1990 arrest in connection with the rape of a 6-year-old girl. FBI agents in Eagle River, Alaska, arrested May Friday, June 20 on federal charges that include unlawful use of a Social Security number, according to Bay News 9

May is said to have been using the identity of his stepbrother Michael Camp, who died in the 1970s.

May’s initial arrest in 1990 stemmed from allegations that the former patrol deputy raped a child on numerous occasions between 1970 and 1977, Bay News 9 reported. May was released on bond and fled Florida before his March 1991 trial.

May’s life on the run came to an end after he used Camp’s name in an attempt to apply for a driver’s license and unemployment benefits in Alaska, WPTV.com reported.

It’s not uncommon for fugitives to make their way to the remoteness of Alaska, the station quoted Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bradley as saying.

“We find that there's an inordinate amount of fugitives here,” Bradley said. “It's unusual for somebody to be able to run so long, but eventually he got caught."

May faces up to 12 years if convicted on the federal charges in Alaska. The Bradenton case holds the potential for the death penalty, WPTV reported.

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