ALBANY, Ore. - A tip about a woman who bragged at a Canadian bar about getting away with a fatal DUI crash in the United States led authorities to a fugitive who vanished awaiting trial in the death of a Dexter, Oregon, woman.
Jean Terese Keating, 54, is scheduled to appear in Linn County Circuit Court in Albany on 1997 charges of Manslaughter in the First Degree, DUII, Reckless Driving and three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
On Sunday, April 13, 1997, a then-38-year-old Keating of Milwaukie, Oregon, sidewswiped a car driven by Jewel Oline Anderson, 65, of Dexter, Oregon, on Interstate 5 near Albany, Oregon State Police said.
Anderson lost control of her car. Her vehicle crossed the median into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with another vehicle.
Anderson died in the crash. Keating and the other drivers escaped with minor injuries.
Keating was awaiting trial in March 1998 when her attorney said he lost contact with her, police said. The lawyer was concerned she had "flown the coop," police said.
The Linn County Circuit Court issued a bench warrant for her arrest, and it was entered in the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) databases.
During the years since she went missing, police investigated tips, to no avail.
The troopers who initially investigated the crash retired.
But the victim's family and law enforcement didn't stop trying to find Keating, who was never reported by her family as missing to law enforcement, police said.
In 2008, state police Sgt. Eric Judah and Detective Howard Greer took on the cold case.
In early 2013, the investigation heated back up.
Oregon State Police received information that a police officer in Manitoba, Canada, had found Keating after following up on information that a woman was at a bar talking about getting away with a DUII-involved fatal crash in the United States several years ago.
After identifying who the woman was based upon a past DUII arrest in Canada, the police officer in Manitoba got her fingerprints in Canada and had a comparison match run with fingerprints in the US database.
The fingerprints matched.
On April 8, 2013, a member of the Canadian Immigration Division detained Keating and took her into custody. A Deportation Order was issued April 18.
On June 13, U.S. Marshals Service in North Dakota took custody of Keating, where she was held until her return to Oregon.
After confirmation she was back in Oregon's custody, state police notified the family of victim Jewel Anderson.
The family issued this statement:
"While there is no price to be put on repayment for taking a life, and it certainly won't bring Jewel (at right) back, we are thankful that finally after 16 years of her running, hiding and torment, our families will have some closure; knowing that Teresa Jean Keating is in custody and justice will be served.
"In the past 16 years we have felt hurt, betrayed, confused and most of all a void in our lives. We have missed her not getting to be at all our happy occasions like graduations, weddings, births, birthdays and many more.
"Jewel was the sweetest woman anyone has ever known; a mother, sister, aunt, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a stranger to no one and loved holidays, family gatherings like picnics and reunions and traveling. Her home was home to anyone, and she would help anyone that needed down to her last dime or the shirt off her back. Above all, she loved her family and God.
"One single action can have a tremendous impact. What happened on April 13, 1997 was a truly devastating event; not only for our family but for the people in the second vehicle involved in the accident, and I'm sure Teresa's family as well. However to call this an accident would be an outright lie - the act of getting behind the wheel of that car by Teresa Jean Keating was very much intentional. Where she was going, what she was thinking - all that is irrelevant - too drunk to drive, is too drunk to drive. All of our families have suffered a tremendous loss."