By Marlee Ginter

ORANGEVALE (CBS13) — He escaped from a Canadian prison nearly 50 years ago but it turns out this fugitive has been hiding in plain sight in Orangevale.

Less than 10 houses sit on a quiet cul-de-sac in Orangevale where most of the neighbors know each other by name.  Or at least they thought they did. On this street, one neighbor goes by the name Thomas Coy, but in court documents, he is listed as Jean-Paul Halleux, Joseph Paul Halleux or Joseph Rivard.

He has been on the run from Canada since September 1973 when he escaped from prison during a two-year sentence for breaking into a lumber yard.  That crime occurred while he was on parole for another burglary. Halleux has been living in Orangevale under a different name and the most any neighbor could tell CBS13 about him was that he was from Canada.

“I’m going to be suspicious of all the neighbors now. Everyone seems really nice, but you really never know,” said Ray Asher.

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“That just shows you never know who your neighbors are,” said neighbor George Salter.  “Al I know is he’s a really nice guy.  I wave to him all the time,  a normal guy, older gentleman, normal guy. Nothing more I can say than that.”

Salter never saw this coming. He stands out front and waves to his neighbors all the time, all the while thinking he was waving to Thomas Coy.

The real Thomas Carl Coy, or “Tommy,” is at the Hicksville Cemetery, according to Find A Grave which is linked on the Hicksville Cemetary website.  Coy was a little boy who died in Placer County in 1949 when he was just two years old.

“That’s just wrong. That boy has a family who probably never knew this was happening,” said Salter.

Halleux is now at the Sacramento County Jail awaiting extradition back to Canada where he still has to serve out 885 days of his sentence.

Comments (2)
  1. Lori Hager says:

    Tommy Coy was my uncle who drowned in Auburn in a canal when he was barely two years old. This is very disheartening and makes me heart sick for my family, his Mom (my Grandmother) and my Mother (His older sister) both passed away in 2018, I’m glad they didn’t have to hear this this. His father Clifford Coy (my Grandfather, who passed away in 1968) is buried next to Tommy. Tommy’s headstone was stolen many years ago and our family replaced it. It makes me wonder if this Jean-Paul Halleux guy stole it to eliminate anyone from remembering my uncle so he could steal his name with no ramification. Oddly enough, I lived very closed to this man for many years and never knew. 🙁

  2. Tawnie Smith says:

    How was he discovered? That’s what we want to know!

Leave a Reply to Lori Hager Cancel reply