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Fountaine and Belcher

Fountaine and Belcher

A fugitive who escaped from the Casper Re-Entry Center and the woman suspected of aiding him have been apprehended in Georgia, authorities say.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that Richard T. Fountaine II, the escapee, and Kimberly Belcher, a staff member who is thought to have helped him flee, were found in Monroe County, Georgia, about an hour south of Atlanta.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Lt. Chad Beck said the pair were dressed in camouflage and hiding near a pond when they were captured Friday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Anna Lewis, public information coordinator for the sheriff’s office in Monroe County, said Friday morning that citizens spotted Fountaine and Belcher on Wednesday.

Belcher and Fountaine’s white SUV got stuck about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and they went to ask a nearby resident to help move it, Lewis said. The neighbor declined and the two left the area on foot.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office impounded the vehicle, Lewis said.

Staff at the Casper facility discovered Dec. 28 that Fountaine was missing from a secure unit of the facility. He was serving a sentence in the facility after being convicted of burglary.

Certain inmates are allowed out for parts of the day to go to work. Those inmates will sometimes fail to return to the facility when they are expected back.

Fountaine, however, climbed a wall and chain-link fence before getting into an SUV and leaving the area, according to a search warrant request filed by law enforcement Dec. 29 in Natrona County Circuit Court.

The search warrant request states that Belcher gave Fountaine a cellphone while he was in the facility.

After Fountaine made his escape, his brother told law enforcement that Belcher and Fountaine were traveling to Texas together, the warrant request states.

The center is a privately owned and operated facility that houses inmates completing prison stints. It sometimes serves as an enhancement to probationary sentences. The Wyoming Department of Corrections contracts with the GEO Group, a private prison company, to house inmates in the facility.

In recent years, other workers at the facility have made news after prosecutors accused them of having sexual encounters with inmates.

A Natrona County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Friday morning that the white SUV found in Georgia is the same one Belcher and Fountaine are thought to have left Casper in.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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