A man serving time for his role in a Cody auto burglary remains at large after escaping from a work release program in Casper last month.
Richard Fountaine II, 29, went missing from the Casper Re-Entry Center on Dec. 28. Officials at the facility discovered he was missing around 9:45 p.m. that night.
At the time, Fountaine was on the tail end of a three- to five-year prison sentence he received in Park County’s District Court for aiding or abetting auto burglary; Fountaine reportedly helped his wife break into a Cody woman’s vehicle and then steal and misuse the woman’s credit cards in 2016.
Although he wasn’t due to be discharged until 2020, the Wyoming Board of Parole granted Fountaine parole back in August — contingent upon him completing his term at the re-entry center. Mark Horan, a spokesman for the corrections department, said he wasn’t sure how much time Fountaine had left to serve at the center, but said he was “close” to release.
While it might seem unusual for an inmate to go on the run toward the end of their sentence, “we’ve seen that happen before sometimes with inmates that aren’t serving that much time and just for whatever reason decide to leave,” Horan said.
There have been instances, he said, where people have walked away from the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp outside Newcastle and the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton with only six months or a year of time left to serve.
“We don’t know what causes people to make those decisions,” Horan said.
Fountaine had been living at the Casper Re-Entry Center since February 2018, corrections records say. The Casper center is run by a private Florida-based company, The GEO Group, that has a contract to house state inmates.
The GEO describes the 342-bed facility as “a residential reentry center that supports successful participant community reintegration through a coordinated system of cognitive behavioral treatment methods, incentives, sanctions, case management and transitional services.”
Those held at the center generally are released during the day to work, but must return at night.
It was during a nighttime head count that Fountaine was found to be missing. The Department of Corrections notified media outlets of his escape hours later — around 2:40 a.m. on Dec. 29.
The crime that landed Fountaine in prison took place in August 2016 in the parking lot of Bubba’s BBQ restaurant in Cody.
Surveillance camera footage later viewed by Cody police reportedly showed Fountaine and his wife, Jennifer Wands, burglarizing the vehicle belonging to one of the restaurant’s owners.
Charging documents from Cody police say Wands, 36, is seen on video breaking out the driver’s side window and stealing the owner’s purse. Wands is then quickly driven away by Fountaine.
A couple hours later, Wands and Fountaine were reportedly caught on surveillance cameras using the Cody woman’s credit cards in Thermopolis.
The couple’s Denali was eventually spotted in Natrona County and after a pursuit involving multiple agencies and spike strips, Fountaine and Wands were arrested in neighboring Converse County.
They both were eventually brought back to Park County to face charges for the break-in and theft at Bubba’s BBQ.
Wands made bail several months later, in December 2016, allowing her to go free while her case played out. It ultimately concluded last June, when she received a sentence of three years of supervised probation, with a five- to seven-year prison sentence suspended. Corrections records say Wands remains under the supervision of probation agents in Cody.
Fountaine, meanwhile, never made bail. He technically remained in custody from his Aug. 26, 2016 arrest, through his June 2017 sentencing and up until his escape last month.
Authorities have indicated that Fountaine has connections to multiple states. At the time of his arrest, Fountaine said his home was in Huntsville, Texas, and a Converse County sheriff’s deputy told K2 Radio that investigators were looking into the couple’s actions in Texas, Montana, Washington, California, New Mexico and Missouri.
Fountaine is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and about 148 pounds, with dirty blond hair and hazel eyes. He has numerous tattoos on his neck, chest and arms.
Anyone with information about Fountaine’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office at 307-235-9282. The Department of Corrections says Fountaine should be considered dangerous and asks that citizens immediately call 911 if they see him.