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Body found in Nebraska is fugitive from northern Wisconsin


NORTH PLATTE, NE (WTAQ) - A body found last May in Nebraska was that of a northern Wisconsin fugitive convicted of trying to make a biological weapon.

Authorities in Lincoln County Nebraska said Thursday that DNA samples and other evidence identified the man as 64-year-old Denys Ray Hughes from Manitowish Waters in Vilas County.

Officials said he was being transferred by a bus from a prison in Colorado to a half-way house in Milwaukee when he vanished in May of last year. Investigators thought he escaped the bus in western Wisconsin.

His body was found a year ago on April 20th in North Platte Nebraska, along a river bank. Officials said they never determined the cause of death, but Hughes had a number of health problems.

Authorities first had suspicions about Hughes in 2005, when a Kansas officer found bomb-making materials and a related to-do list during a traffic stop. Investigators later searched his home in Manitowish Waters, where they found castor beans and formulas for making ricin.

Hughes was later convicted after being prosecuted in Phoenix for trying to make a biological weapon, and possessing pipe bombs and illegal silencers. He was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison before boarding the bus to his Milwaukee halfway house, and escaping before then.