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Escaped child rapist Eric Hartwell captured in Norfolk after nationwide manhunt

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-28 19:07:46-05

Convicted child rapist Eric Hartwell was taken into custody in Norfolk on Friday morning, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Hartwell escaped from a Denver halfway house on February 21 after reportedly cutting off his ankle monitor. A warrant was issued for his arrest on February 23.

Colorado and federal law enforcement authorities have been searching him ever since.

U.S. Marshals say they learned Hartwell arrived in Virginia and the U.S. Marshals Service in Norfolk and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Fugitive Task Force found that he was at a motel on Military Highway after tracking him from the bus station.

Surveillance was conducted on the room and Hartwell was identified.

Deputy Marshals and Task Force Officers then moved in to attempt to capture Hartwell, but he refused to answer the door.

The door was broken down and Hartwell was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

Hartwell will be seen on his federal charges in the Norfolk Federal Courthouse on Friday afternoon.

According to U.S. Marshals, Hartwell was arrested in 1991 and later convicted in Washington for 1st degree rape of a child. In 1995, he picked up a pregnant hitchhiker and threatened to rape her. The woman was able to fight him off and escape and Hartwell was again arrested and sent to prison.

In April of 2009, Hartwell was sentenced to serve 60 months in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender. After his term of incarceration, he was ordered to serve life on supervised release by the Federal Court.

Click here for additional coverage from KDVR in Denver.