70-year-old Denver man after 30 years free declared fugitive in Indiana

By Joe St. George

Denver, CO (KDVR) -- Seventy-year-old Theodell McGowan can't believe he is back in jail.

"This is a nightmare for me," McGowan said during a jailhouse interview with FOX31.

For the past 30 years, McGowan has lived a pretty normal life in Colorado. He retired as a bus driver for DPS and RTD. McGowan even had a security clearance to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

But throughout it all he was living with a secret. He left his halfway house in Indiana eight months early in 1984. He had been convicted of auto theft in Gary, Indiana.

"I thought it had been resolved, I've lived with my legal birth name for all these years but nobody said nothing - I have had several background checks run on me," McGowan said.

That changed this past week when the Indiana Department of Corrections contacted the Denver Sheriff Department to arrest McGowan.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers asked the Indiana DOC why, after all these years, is McGowan now identified as a fugitive?

Officials in Indiana have told FOX31 they are looking into the request but no official response has been given.

Now McGowan's family is pleading with officials for a reprieve.

"It is a waste of taxpayers money to take a 70-year-old man back to Indiana. I don't think he is a threat to anyone," Helen Allen, McGowan's fiance said.

According to McGowan's attorney Jason Flores-Williams, barring a miracle McGowen should be extradited in the coming days back to Indiana.

That's because McGowan, according to Flores-Williams, accidentally waived his right to an extradition hearing.

Flores-Williams is calling on Colorado officials to intervene.

"We have a good sheriff's department here, the DA, the Denver mayor should look at the situation here and think of the justice of it," Flores-Williams said.

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