They were on the run for a half decade, but two Clay County fugitives were caught in Texas, thanks in part to Facebook.
Clay County sheriff's officials did some digital detective work to find two fugitives who had been on the run for a long time.
The individuals, 44-year-old Jerry Lee Callahan and his wife, 40-year-old Rebecca Callahan were on the run for five years. Officials tracked them down using social networking and found out they had even applied for a driver's license in the lone star state.
The two were arrested in August of 2007. Between the two of them, they faced a combination of 20 counts of rape, sexual abuse, sodomy and incest.
Someone who knew them chatted with them online which enabled officials to locate them in Victoria county Texas.
“They had been talking to them on Facebook, back and forth and we obtained some IP addresses,” said Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson.
Johnson said it has been a complicated case, mainly because it involved sexual abuse with minors. Even though the Callahans were considered fugitives, they had been released from jail. Under Kentucky law, there is a 90 day period from the time a person is arrested for a person to be formally charged or indicted. In this case, they were arrested in August but the indictment warrant did not come through until November 1, 2007. The two were released on their own recognizance in late October, just days before the indictment.
“Because it was such an enormous case, they actually posted bond before they were actually indicted and basically got out of jail and disappeared,” said Johnson.
Johnson and another official will fly out of Lexington on Sunday, Feb. 19 to apprehend the suspects. They will return on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and the suspects will be brought to the Clay County Detention Center where they will wait to be arraigned in circuit court.
Johnson said it was all thanks to law enforcement’s use of social media.
“Even if you are on the run you are going to stay in contact with friends and family which in the future it is going to be a tool that law enforcement will use and has used and will be continuing to use,” said Johnson.
Rebecca Callahan is charged with two counts of rape in the first degree, one count of conspiracy to rape in the third degree, two counts of incest, two counts of sodomy in the first degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Jerry Callahan is charged with 2 counts of rape in the first degree, one count of rape in the third degree, three counts of incest, two counts of sodomy in the first degree and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Though they were on the run, they will not face any additional charges for fleeing. If the two are found guilty they could face over one hundred years a piece behind bars.