by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A North Carolina fugitive on the run for more than 40 years is believed to have been captured in Iowa.
Ronald Carnes was serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery at the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Huntersville when he escaped in 1973.
Carnes had been on the run ever since until a possible breakthrough out of Iowa earlier this week.
Authorities said facial-recognition software led them to where Carnes was living in Waterloo, Iowa after his driver's license picture matched an already existing template in the state's system.
Federal and state officials searched his home and Carnes was taken into custody.
“This technology stores every photo taken for ID cards and passports," said Chris Swecker, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director who currently lives in Charlotte. "It allows authorities to compare different facial features, biometric features to a flat photograph. Officials can compare photographs with others photographs and make matches."
Swecker said 37 states in the United States are using the technology and the majority of those states allow access to law enforcement.
"People who are concerned with privacy shouldn't worry," said Swecker. "They are only running photos of people who have committed or suspected of committing crimes."
Investigators are waiting on fingerprints to confirm Carne's identity.
Carnes can be extradited to North Carolina once he resolves charges he is facing in Iowa.
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