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A neighbor on the couple’s street in Gold Bar said they were always friendly. Each often would stop while on a stroll to make small talk, Amanda Murray often walking her two small dogs.

When cancer invaded the man she knew as David Murray, his robust body began to wither away and he needed to use a walker to get down the street.

“He fought his cancer with every ounce of strength and dignity he had,” Ruth said. “At the end it was just tough. I felt compassion for him.”

In his previous life, Lilly was a felon with a long rap sheet. He was serving time for robbery, burglary, car theft and aggravated assault on a police officer.

Internet crime sleuths report that he also was a prolific escape artist. A web site for fans of “America’s Most Wanted,” claims that Lilly first escaped prison in 1975 by tunneling out of his cell. He was caught about two weeks later.

He reportedly escaped at least two more times in Kansas. Once he stole a prison truck and another time he and some other inmates allegedly overpowered guards in a control tower and scaled the prison walls. He was cornered several hours later and took a shot at a police officer. Lilly was moved to a maximum-security prison in Missouri.

He had been on the lam since Dec. 13, 1986. That’s when he stole a prison guard’s uniform and walked out of the Missouri State Penitentiary. Presumably, he met up with Mary Lilly, whom he had married two years earlier. They were pen pals who wed while he was behind bars.

Authorities believe that the pair built new identities using fake names and stolen Social Security numbers. Records show that Dennis Lilly was using a Social Security number that was issued to an Arkansas man born in 1881. His wife’s belonged to an Asian man from California who was born in 1928. Court records detail a maze of false names, birthdates and addresses connected to the couple.

The FBI has been hunting Lilly for years. He’s been featured at least twice on “America’s Most Wanted.”

A break came in the case in October when Amanda Murray filed an application with an online stock trading firm. The application was denied because her birth date and Social Security number didn’t match the name Amanda Murray.

Eight months earlier, Amanda Murray had applied for a replacement Social Security card in Washington using the birth date and Social Security number belonging to Mary Lilly. That same month she officially changed her name to Amanda Murray, filling out a simple form at Evergreen District Court in Monroe.

A compliance officer at the brokerage took an interest in the denial and queried the true name associated with the Social Security number and birth date Murray provided. That led to her connection with Dennis Lilly, the fugitive.

The officer contacted an FBI intelligence analyst in Chicago, whose online research turned up evidence that Amanda Murray is Mary Lilly and that Dennis Lilly had assumed the name David Murray.

The FBI began digging deeper, using online resources to track the Murrays to addresses in Monroe and Gold Bar. It appeared, however, that the couple may have split up in the late 1990s. They had separate addresses with David Murray showing up in Everett and San Francisco.

The search also uncovered the couple’s association with The Mail Station in Monroe. Amanda Murray has been listed as the owner since 2008.

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