The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or FDLE, Florida Department of Corrections, DOC and the Florida Police Chiefs Association, FPCA, are offering a reward for information leading to the capture of 72-year-old Robert Finley, for his 1979 escape from the Kissimmee Work Release Center.
Finley is one of a dozen cold case prison escapees being featured during the “12 Days of Fugitives” campaign – a joint public outreach initiative by FDLE and DOC. On March 2, 1974, Finley killed another inmate at Brown’s Labor Camp in Hardee County, Fla. by using a knife to slit his throat. Finley was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter. He was serving his time at the Kissimmee Work Release Center when he escaped on July 8, 1980.
After his escape, Finley, using the alias Ray Lynn Burris, was arrested in Florida on several occasions, including a 1987 arrest for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest with violence. Technology at the time did not allow authorities to electronically match fingerprints and identify Burris as Finley.
“This fugitive has been on the run for 30 years and has a violent past,” said FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge Jim Madden. “He has worked as a laborer and migrant worker and has lived previously in Southwest Florida.”
Finley is 6’2” and at the time of his escape was approximately 164 pounds. He has green eyes and brown hair. He has several tattoos including, “Ni Vida Loca” on his right forearm; a dagger and “BF” on his lower left arm; and “Marlene” on his left bicep. Finley has an extensive criminal history that includes arrests in Oklahoma, Louisiana, California, Colorado and Michigan.
Finley will be featured on digital billboards across the state. The Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA) and its network of member companies are broadcasting the faces of the fugitives and the tip line number throughout the campaign period. There are 90 digital billboard locations statewide.
There is an active warrant for Finley for escape, a first-degree felony. The warrant is for nationwide extradition. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the toll free tip line at 1-877-FLA-WANTED (1-877-352-9268) or e-mail FLAWanted@fdle.state.fl.us.
The “12 Days of Fugitives” campaign is designed to reach the public during the holiday season when investigators believe the wanted men are most likely to contact friends, family and loved ones. More than $22,000 in reward money is available, with up to $2,500 offered per fugitive for information leading their capture. To learn more about the “12 Days of Fugitives” visit www.fdle.state.fl.us.