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Fla. Singer Believed to Be Fugitive

May 12, 2001 GMT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ A Florida doo-wop singer was arrested and accused of escaping from a New Jersey prison in 1974 while serving a sentence for killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

Authorities said Elmer Edward Solly, 55, used a succession of false names, posing most recently as ``Danny C. Catalano″ and living in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He promoted his career as Danny C., ``The Bad Boy,″ claiming to be ``the most controversial member″ of the group Sha Na Na.

Sha Na Na marketing director Peter Erlendson said neither Catalano nor Solly was ever a member of the group. ``Truth be known, I just thought he was a flake. I had no idea he was a murderer,″ Erlendson said Friday.

Interviews with family members after Solly’s mother died last year led investigators to Florida, where Solly probably has lived since at least the mid-90s, New Jersey state police spokesman John Hagerty said.

Solly was serving a 20- to 25-year term for the 1969 beating death of Christopher Welsh in Runnemede, N.J. He escaped during a furlough, Corrections Department spokeswoman Deirdre Fedkenheuer said.

U.S. Marshals arrested Solly on Thursday after he went fishing at a pier near his house in St. Petersburg.

He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail to await extradition proceedings to New Jersey.