Woman on the lam for 17 years arrested in Augusta

U.S. marshals have arrested a woman in Augusta who had been on the lam for nearly 17 years, according to a news release.

Sara Jean Rusher, 52, was arrested at The Waffle House at 3134 Peach Orchard Road early Friday morning. She is wanted in Greensboro, N.C., on federal probation violation charges from an arrest warrant that was issued in March 1995.

At the time of her warrant, marshals suspected she went into hiding with her fugitive husband, David Lee Rusher, who had escaped from Estill Federal Prison in Estill, S.C., in February 1995.

Local authorities became aware of her when a woman called to report that her husband had died of emphysema at Flynn’s Inn Camping Village on Peach Orchard Road, said Richmond County Deputy Mark Bowen.

Bowen said the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, who called herself Joan Piper Duncan, told him that they were married for 30 years but she could not remember his birthdate or Social Security number. Bowen grew suspicious and, with the help of the sheriff’s office, he ran the man’s fingerprints and found out he was David Lee Rusher.

As soon as the man was identified, the marshals went looking for Sara Rusher.

According to Deputy Charles Brant of the marshal’s office, she was on supervised release from Greensboro police department after serving time for drug charges. She had transferred her release to Florida in February 1995 and then suddenly stopped checking in.

Rusher has admitted to her identity and is now in the custody of the marshals.

She will be extradited to Greensboro to face charges.

David Lee Rusher’s body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab for an autopsy. Bowen said the results will be back in 14-16 weeks.

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