Crime

This Idaho inmate escaped nearly 20 years ago. Police arrested her again last week.

Rhonda Blake’s 1998 mug shot, left, beside her 2017 mug shot. Blake walked away from a Department of Correction work site in 1998 and was arrested in South Dakota last week.
Rhonda Blake’s 1998 mug shot, left, beside her 2017 mug shot. Blake walked away from a Department of Correction work site in 1998 and was arrested in South Dakota last week.

The Idaho Department of Correction on Tuesday announced that an inmate who escaped from a Boise IDOC facility 19 years ago has been located and taken into custody.

Rhonda L. Blake was found living under an assumed name in South Dakota by investigators with IDOC’s special investigations unit. Blake, now 57, walked away from the East Boise Community Re-entry Center (then called the Boise Work Center) on Christmas Eve in 1998.

Pennington County Sheriff’s deputies arrested her at a home in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Nov. 27. Blake was originally arrested in May 1997 in Gem County and put on probation for illegal possession of a controlled substance. She was serving a 180-day rider (an inmate rehabilitation program) for violating that probation when she escaped.

IDOC said that in addition to her fugitive status, Blake had a warrant for her arrest for a 2009 drunk driving arrest in South Dakota. Before she can be extradited to Idaho, her drunk driving case must first be resolved, officials said.

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