HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Gloria Martinez said she and Stanley Rogers were engaged at the time of his arrest in 1994 and they were supposed to get married the same week.
The armed robbery happened in Carteret County, N.C.
Martinez walked WMBF News through the night it happened. She said Rogers was out of character that night.
She said they had a gun in the house, he went to grab it and she didn’t know where he was going. Martinez said she noticed he was drinking and that wasn’t like him either, she said he never drank.
She said he later returned home and went into their son, Hank’s room, she said the two were extremely close.
“Stan took care of Hank for everything," Martinez said. "Stan put him to sleep, Stan changed his diapers, Stan would do everything for Hank.”
Martinez said Rogers collected the family and began to say goodbye, he told them all he loved them.
The next day Rogers wasn’t home to take the kids to school and Martinez said later that day police surrounded their home looking for him.
She said at this point she still wasn’t sure what was going on and that’s when she saw on the news that police were looking for a suspect in an armed robbery.
During the armed robbery, Martinez said he went into a gas station and told a female cashier to go into the other room so he could get the money from the drawer.
She said he never hurt anyone and they didn’t have money issues so she wasn’t sure why he did it.
Rogers escaped from a prison in Wilkes County, N.C. about threes years into his 40 year prison sentence, while mowing the grass at the prison.
Martinez said the last time she heard from Rogers was in a letter a few days after his escape. Hank was only four years old the last time he saw his dad.
WMBF News asked Martinez about how it’s been over the past 23 years, spending every day wondering if the man you loved was alive.
“I just want to see him," she said. "I’m thankful. Thank God he’s alive because nobody knows what it’s like going that many years and not knowing if someone is alive or dead.”
Rogers will remain in South Carolina custody until the North Carolina Department of Corrections comes to pick him up.