A former Maryland convict, who has vowed he will not be taken alive, continued to elude a police manhunt that began yesterday after he overpowered a guard at an Ohio hospital and kidnaped five people in two states. Three of the captives escaped and two others were released, all unharmed.
A spokesman for Howard County, Md., police said Clifford B. Haller, 48, whose last known address is Columbia, Md., is presumed to be in the Baltimore area. Haller arrived last night at the Columbia residence of the woman he had lived with, accompanied by an unidentified person he had abducted in Pennsylvania, and left the house this afternoon driving the woman's car, the spokesman said.
The FBI said Haller had earlier eluded a manhunt at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, where he released two hostages.
Haller faces five federal counts of kidnaping and is suspected in Maryland of involvement in a possible homicide. The FBI said he has spent 17 years in prisons in five states on a variety of charges, including receiving stolen property, misuse of credit cards and theft.
Haller was arrested April 9 in Akron, Ohio, on charges of receiving stolen property, theft, forgery, failure to return a rental car and misuse of credit cards. He was carrying 17 credit cards belonging to five people in Maryland and Missouri, police said.
He was taken to Akron City Hospital last Wednesday after complaining of chest pains. There, using a .25-caliber automatic pistol smuggled into his room, Haller overpowered a guard, handcuffed and gagged him and took his gun and badge. Within a block of the hospital, he commandeered a car and took his first hostage.