PORTLAND – A woman wanted in a fatal traffic crash on Interstate 5 just north of Albany 16 years ago was located in Canada and is now in custody in Oregon, police said.
Jean Terese Keating, 54 (pictured in 1997), was located in Manitoba, Canada and is now in custody following a grand jury indictment in a June 1997 manslaughter, DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangering case.
It all started back in April of 1997 when Keating, who was 38 at the time and living in Milwaukie, Ore., reportedly sideswiped 65-year-old Jewel Anderson of Dexter, Ore. on I-5, said Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police.
Anderson (pictured right) lost control and crossed through the center median into oncoming traffic where she hit another vehicle and died at the scene.
Keating was not injured and the other driver received non-life-threatening injuries, Hastings said.
Keating was awaiting trial in March 1998 when her attorney said she “flew the coop.” A bench warrant was issued for her arrest and entered into national crime databases.
Over the years, dead-end tips poured in and most of the original investigators have since retired.
Keating was never reported missing by her family, and in 2008, detectives continued to review the cold case, Hastings said.
Then, in early 2013, police received information that police in Manitoba had found Keating after hearing about a woman in a bar talking about getting away with a DUII-involved fatal crash in the U.S. several years ago, Hastings said.
Police in Canada got Keating’s fingerprints and compared them with fingerprints in the American database. After her prints were matched, Keating was detained and deported to the United States.
On June 13, Keating was put in custody of U.S. Marshals in North Dakota where she was held until her return to Oregon, Hastings said.
The family of Jewel released a statement following the news that Keating was apprehended by police.
"While there is no price to be put on repayment for taking a life, and it certainly won't bring Jewel 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."