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Indiana fugitive for 14 years caught in Harlan

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - He spent fourteen years on the run, but now an Indiana fugitive is behind bars in Harlan County.

Ralph North, 49, was wanted for a 1998 parole violation on a child molestation conviction.

He was caught in Harlan.

North talked to WYMT's Angela Sparkman in the Harlan County Detention Center.

Ralph North says he has no idea why he is in jail.

"They still haven't told me what they got me for here," North said.

Harlan Police say Indiana authorities have a 1998 arrest warrant for him. Police say it involves a parole violation on a child molestation conviction.

"Whatever they're trying to say, I'm innocent. I ain't done nothing," North said when we told him the charges.

The U.S. Marshals recently tracked him to a home on Beech Grove Lane in Harlan County. Harlan City Police found and arrested him late Saturday.

"This was brought to our attention. Everyone worked quickly and acted quickly and made the arrest, especially with the severity of the charges," said Mike Thomas, Harlan Police Chief.

"I think it's a bunch of hogwash, if you ask me," said North.

North says he lived in Indianapolis in the late 1990s and faced drug charges, but claims he finished probation and moved back to his hometown Harlan a decade ago to be near his mother.

"There's no law that says I have to be bound nowhere," said North.

Harlan City Police say the U.S. Marshals plan to take North back to Indiana as soon as possible to face the charge.

"I won't make it to Indianapolis," North said.

Before our interview ended, North threatened to take his own life in front of a jail officer.

"What have I got to live for? Everything is took from me," North said to the officer.

The officer then took him out of the room.

The jail staff says they cannot release any information on North's condition after he made the threats to harm himself.

Harlan City Police officers say North acted the same way during his arrest.

He is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center on no bond.


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