An Oregon fugitive wanted for a 1997 fatal car accident is back in custody after Canadian police say they received a tip she had been bragging about getting away with the crime at a local bar.
Earlier this year, authorities in Manitoba, a province in western Canada, said they received a tip that Jean Terese Keating, 54, was overheard bragging about getting away with suspected a drunken driving crash in the United States several years ago, The Oregonian reported.
She was taken into custody in Canada in April and booked into the Linn County Jail in Albany, Ore., Thursday, according to the report. She was originally indicted on charges of manslaughter, DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants), reckless driving and reckless endangerment stemming from the crash that caused the death of Jewel Anderson 16 years ago.
On April 13, 1997, Keating, then 38, was driving on Interstate 5 when she veered right and sideswiped a car driven by Anderson, 65, according to local reports. Anderson lost control of her vehicle, crossed the center median and was hit by an oncoming sedan. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Keating was indicted in June 1997, but failed to make her scheduled court appearance. Her lawyer was worried Keating had "flown the coop," according to local station KVAL.
A warrant was issued for her arrest. For years, officials followed dead-end leads to no avail. Then, earlier this year, one tip led to a major breakthrough.
After hearing about the bar bragging, a Manitoba officer was able to identify Keating -- who was using a different name at the time -- by comparing fingerprints from a past drunken driving arrest in Canada with prints from the U.S. database, the Register-Guard notes. She was arrested April 8. On June 13, she was taken into custody in North Dakota.
Anderson's family shared a statement with the Oregon State Police regarding Keating's capture:
While there is no price to be put on repayment for taking a life, and it certainly won't bring Jewel back, we are thankful that finally after 16 years of her running, hiding and torment, our families will have some closure; knowing that Teresa Jean Keating is in custody and justice will be served. In the past 16 years we have felt hurt, betrayed, confused and most of all a void in our lives. We have missed her not getting to be at all our happy occasions like graduations, weddings, births, birthdays and many more.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports she is due in court Friday.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the location of Manitoba. Manitoba is considered western, not eastern, Canada.