COLLIER COUNTY — Special agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have arrested a 55-year-old man who they say escaped from a Collier County prison 21 years ago, where he was serving time for attempted second-degree murder and robbery.
Edward Morales assumed multiple identities during his time on the run, and was working as a truck driver, the FDLE reported.
At the time of his escape, Morales was serving a 17-year sentence for his role in a 1983 shooting and robbery in Jackson County. After the shooting, he and an accomplice stole the man’s vehicle.
Morales was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery with a firearm, and entered the prison system April 11, 1984, the FDLE reported. He walked away from the Copeland Road Prison in Collier County on May 4, 1988.
Agents with the FDLE’s Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center began searching for Morales in June 2008 as part of a joint initiative with the Florida Department of Corrections to locate some of the state’s most violent prison escapees, the FDLE reported.
Agents learned that Morales was in Florida and possibly living under the name "Daniel Silva," reports said.
He was arrested Tuesday at his Lakeland residence and charged with escape. He also was charged with resisting an officer after he refused to provide any personal information or identification at the time of his arrest.
Morales was booked into the Polk County Jail while the FDLE continues to investigate his activity.