By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Two Gillette men have been charged with harboring an Alaskan fugitive who was accused of kidnapping her daughter, recent court filings showed.
Joshua L. Richardson and Clayton R. Salyer were each charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping, a felony. The charge comes with a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $3,000.
The men are accused of hiding Alaskan resident Autumn Wilson, who was arrested on April 19 on charges of kidnapping her 2-year-old daughter and fleeing the state. She did not have custody of the girl prior to leaving Alaska.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Wilson and Salyer were reported to police in the early hours of April 19 as fugitives from Alaska. An Alaska arrest warrant had been issued for Wilson on the kidnapping charges and a second warrant was issued for her arrest in Gillette on charges of destruction of property, breach of peace and shoplifting.
While Campbell County Sheriff’s deputies were on their way to the apartment they were told Wilson and Salyer could be found, the caller told dispatchers the two suspects had left and gone into another apartment next door.
Deputies knocked on the door of the second apartment, which was answered by Richardson, who said that his “Uncle Clay” and his daughter were in the apartment.
Richardson denied the deputies entry into his apartment, saying that law enforcement had already been to his apartment to search for Wilson, but she was not there, the affidavit said. He also claimed he and his uncle “pull women like dime” and that women were at his apartment regularly.
Richardson also told deputies to get off of his property and informed them they were trespassing.
The caller who reported Salyer and Wilson as fugitives then met with deputies and told them the two had been at her residence drinking earlier.
Richardson ultimately left to go to work while deputies were still outside of his apartment and he again told them they were trespassing. Deputies told him they were working on getting a search warrant, to which he responded that if they “touch his door while he is not there, he will have our [expletive] and it is a $400 door,” the affidavit said.
While deputies were waiting to hear about a warrant, they saw someone dressed in a hoodie step out onto the front porch, then go back inside. A few minutes later, they saw a similarly dressed person step out onto the back porch and take a few steps down the stairs.
Around this time, Richardson called police and informed them Salyer would let them search the apartment.
Deputies found this strange, so they checked the back of the residence, where they found Wilson hiding in a fenced yard by a barbecue grill, the affidavit said. She was arrested and transported to the local jail. She declined to tell officers where she lived.
Deputies believe Richardson and Salyer were harboring Wilson in attempt to keep her from being arrested for kidnapping. Her child was not with her when she was arrested.
Gillette police and the U.S. Marshal’s office recovered the child in early May. She had been staying with a relative of Wilson’s.