A woman who walked away from a Pennsylvania work release center 11 years ago, and who had apparently been living under her real name in Delaware, was arrested Aug. 18 near Milford.


    Delaware State Police have arrested a woman who escaped from a Lehigh County, Pa., prison more than 11 years ago.

    Cynthia Heck, 35, was taken into custody at approximately 8:32 p.m. Aug. 18, at a residence on Log Cabin road, northeast of Milford, said police spokeswoman Cpl. Jaime Dorsey-Sterner.

    “We received an anonymous tip that she had these warrants out of Pennsylvania,” Dorsey-Sterner said.

    Ed Sweeney, director of corrections in Lehigh County, said Heck was arrested June 22, 1998, on a prostitution charge.

    Found guilty, Heck was ordered to serve between four and 12 months, and was sent to the county womens’ correction center on Aug. 5, 1998. While there, she was to take part in a rehabilitation program for female offenders, Sweeney said.

    The rehab center was about four blocks from the corrections center, and because the inmates were not considered dangerous, they were allowed to walk to sessions on their own, he said.

    “She was there for all of five days and she decided not to come back,” Sweeney said.

    After her arrest near Milford, Heck was back in a Pennsylvania jail by Aug. 20, he said.

    “She waived any extradition rights and we went down there and picked her up right away,” Sweeney said. Heck is being held on a $15,000 bond on the escape charge, but will not be released because she still must serve time on the prostitution charge, he added.

    “Even if she posted bail, she isn’t going anywhere,” Sweeney said.

    He added he had no idea what Heck had been doing for the past 11 years.

    “I can tell you she has not been picked up or involved in any criminal activity, at least according to our records,” he said.

    Heck had given a false name, Shea Shim, when arrested in 1998 but, according to phone records, apparently had been living on Log Cabin Road under her real name for at least six years.