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For Immediate Release

May 05, 2015 Pete Elliott, United States Marshal
Northern District of Ohio (216) 522-4482
U.S. Marshal's New Cold Case Unit Tracks Down Ohio Escapee from 1959

NOVFTF LogoCleveland, OH – U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott and Ohio Adult Parole Authority Regional Director Todd Ishee announce the capture of one of Ohio’s most wanted and long sought after fugitives. Frank Freshwaters, 79, a.k.a. William Harold Cox, was apprehended in Melbourne, FL yesterday after an extensive investigation by the new Cold Case Unit of the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.

On July 3, 1957, Frank Freshwaters, of Akron, OH, was the driver of an automobile involved in an auto-pedestrian accident which resulted in a fatality. Freshwaters pleaded guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter and was sentenced to 1-20 years in prison. Initially, Freshwaters’ sentence was suspended and he was given probation for 5 years. On February 19, 1959, Freshwaters was found guilty of violating his probation and his original sentence of 1-20 years was imposed. Freshwaters served time at the infamous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield but was quickly able to earn the trust of the prison officials and was moved to the Sandusky Honor Farm to finish his sentence. On September 30, 1959, Freshwaters escaped and fled the State of Ohio at that time.

Freshwaters believed his luck ran out when the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, in Charleston, WV, apprehended him on the Ohio warrant in October 1975. However, at that time, the Governor of the State of West Virginia refused to extradite Freshwaters to Ohio. Freshwaters was released and again went into hiding.

When the new U.S. Marshals Cold Case Unit was established just three months ago, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority requested assistance on locating Freshwaters, one of their oldest cases. After weeks of investigation, the Cold Case Unit believed to have located Freshwaters living under the alias William Harold Cox in Melbourne, FL. The information was sent to the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force in Florida and they began to investigate from their end. After collaborative investigate efforts between U.S. Marshals in Ohio and Florida, it was determined that Cox was indeed Freshwaters and that it was time to serve justice.

Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Marshals in Florida arrested Freshwaters at his residence of 1200 Jones Rd., Melbourne, FL, without incident. Freshwaters admitted his true identity during the arrest and he was transported to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to be held until he can be extradited back to Ohio.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “This is only the start of our Cold Case Unit. We will continue to work on catching the un-catchable! Working together with all of our law enforcement partners in Ohio, West Virginia and Florida, we were able to close one of our states oldest escape warrants and I am proud of all the efforts our team put forth into this investigation.”

Ohio Adult Parole Authority Regional Director Todd Ishee stated, “This was one of our oldest cases that many believed to be impossible to solve. With this new Cold Case Unit at work, we are reopening many old fugitive files with the hope that we will continue to have the success that we have seen in these last few months. Great work by the investigators on bringing this cold case to a close!”

Anyone with information concerning any wanted fugitive can contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED (1-866-492-6833). You may also anonymously text in a tip by texting the keyword "WANTED" and your tip to TIP411 (847411), or you can send a web tip at the following webpage Reward money is available and tipsters may remain anonymous.

Frank Freshwaters (1950 mug shot, and current)

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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