Police have arrested a Saratoga woman accused of shooting up her boyfriend’s house then helping another man rob a saloon, but her accomplice remains at large.
Nebraska State Patrol troopers captured Victoria Rose Tidball, 28, last week after a 12-day manhunt, the Saratoga Police Department announced.
Tidball faces two felonies in Carbon County, Wyoming: one charge of aggravated assault on suspicion of shooting up her boyfriend’s house after he dumped her, and another of being an accessory after the fact on suspicion of helping a different man rob a Saratoga saloon.
The assault charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines; the robbery charge by up to three years in prison and $3,000 in fines.
Tidball’s alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Cody Ellenson, is still at large and considered armed and dangerous, Carbon County Sheriff Alex Bakken told Cowboy State Daily in a Thursday email.
Ford, Glock, Jeep
Carbon County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Lally went to a Saratoga home at 1:56 a.m. Dec. 16 after hearing that a female had shot at the house, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed in Rawlins Circuit Court.
The man who lived there said he’d been Victoria Tidball’s boyfriend until breaking up with her that night over her drinking. He said Tidball went out the back door, got into her own gold Ford Ranger, parked behind his Jeep and shot up both the Jeep and his house with a 9 mm Glock.
When the man opened his front door to have a peek, Tidball allegedly shot into his front door. He darted for cover into the kitchen, the affidavit says.
The document claims that Tidball circled, walking to the back of the house and firing through the back door.
The man told police that in the past, Tidball would remind him that she “could kill him,” the affidavit relates.
Gonna Track Some Phones
Because of the shooting and a report that the female had “suicidal ideations,” investigators asked phone-service carrier Union Wireless to track Tidball’s cellphone, says the affidavit.
Tidball reportedly had her own cellphone and her boyfriend’s cellphone with her as she fled.
Police tracked both.
His cellphone indicated it was turned off and located at Bridge Street in Saratoga.
A later ping to her cellphone indicated it was turned off and located in Arlington in Carbon County.
Next: Saloon Robbery
The next afternoon at about 2:35, Carbon County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Fischer stopped by the Whistle Pig Saloon in Saratoga to investigate a reported theft.
The bartender said Ellenson was an employee at the Whistle Pig.
He’d been at the bar with Tidball the night before, Dec. 15, starting at about 7:30 p.m. until 30 minutes after midnight, the bartender said.
Then they left the bar together. The bartender locked up the saloon at 1:10 a.m. and set the alarm.
When she came in for work the next morning just before noon, she noticed the “gambling bag” had no money when it should have contained $1,535, the affidavit says.
The change bag also had been drained of between $300 and $400, the bartender told Fischer.
Surveillance footage depicts a 2000s gold Ford Ranger driving up to the Whistle Pig at about 2:59 a.m. from the driveway to Ellenson’s camper-trailer home, the affidavit says.
He lived in a camper-trailer directly behind the saloon on land belonging to the saloon’s owner, the document adds.
Ellenson reportedly got out of the passenger side door, walked into the saloon, entered an alarm code, went to the money bags, walked into the office briefly and left.
While he was still in the saloon, the truck’s headlights and brake lights turned off, reportedly.
The affidavit says Ellenson got back into the truck after he left the saloon.
Fischer approached the camper trailer during his investigation. He knocked on the wall and door and announced law enforcement presence.
The blinds were open, and Fischer looked through the window. No person – dead or alive – was in the camper, the affidavit notes. But there was a box of 9 mm ammo inside.
Citing “community safety,” police put out a ping on Ellenson’s cellphone, which signaled that it was outside Union Wireless range.
If This Timeline Holds …
If the affidavit’s timeline is accurate, then Ellenson and Tidball would have been drinking together at the saloon the entire evening of Dec. 15 until just after midnight.
Then Tidball would have argued with her boyfriend at his home at about 1 a.m. just before the reported shooting spree. And she and Ellenson would have reunited for the saloon robbery sometime before 3 a.m.
Tidball’s prosecution is ongoing.
Though living recently in a camper in Saratoga, Ellenson's last known address was in Encampment, Wyoming, the affidavit says.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.