A former Beverly man who was convicted of playing a role in the grisly gangland murder of a young woman in 1996 has escaped from federal custody by kicking out the door of a van during a prisoner transport in central Kentucky.
A multidepartment manhunt is under way in Kentucky for the fugitive, said Versailles, Ky., police spokesman Pat Melton.
Melton said Capozzi was being taken to Lexington, Ky., on Thursday to be flown to another facility out of state. He kicked open the door of the corrections van as it was turning onto the Kentucky 33 exit off the Bluegrass Parkway.
Capozzi, 37, was slated to be released from prison in 2046.
Capozzi was convicted by a federal jury in 2005 of helping to cover up the killing of Aislin Silva, 19, of Medford. Silva was killed by a Mafia-connected gang of drug dealers and thieves who feared she might cooperate with authorities. Capozzi helped to hack her body into small pieces and bury them after a fellow mobster strangled her.
Capozzi was convicted of joining the conspiracy to kill Silva, being an accessory after the fact, and conspiring to commit robbery. He was sentenced in August 2005 to 23 years in prison. He was already serving a 30-year sentence for a 1999 conviction on weapons and extortion charges.
Several other gang members were convicted in the Silva case. Gang member Kevin Meuse, who allegedly strangled Silva in Medford on Nov. 13, 1996, hanged himself in prison in 1997.
Joseph P. Silva, Aislin Silva's father, said he had been notified by local law enforcement officials of the escape. He said he was confident that Capozzi would be caught.
"I hold great faith with them. They know what they're doing," said Silva. "I don't believe he'll get out of Kentucky."
Doreen Henderson, Aislin Silva's mother, said that hearing Capozzi's name again had brought back painful memories.
"I'm hopeful that he will be apprehended very soon," she said.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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