By Crystal Faldalen
A telephone tip led police to a thrift store in Casper, Wyo., where sexual assault suspect Charles Nottingham was taken into custody earlier this week.
Sgt. Mike Moore of the Casper Police Department said today that about 10 officers were present when Nottingham was arrested at Rescued Treasures. Rescued Treasures is a non-proft thrift store that runs in conjunction with the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission.
The store's warehouse manager, Corynne Waldron, said Nottingham had been working there for about two weeks under the name "Chase Hale." She said he was renting an apartment across the street from the store and had approached her about working for meals and clothing.
Waldron said Nottingham told her he had a background in English, so she put him to work in the store's library making signs. She said he presented himself well and seemed like a very nice man.
Nottingham is accused of sexually molesting an 8-year-old girl in Havre. He violated conditions of his release from jail on a sexual assault charge by fleeing Blaine County in late June. Havre police began searching for Nottingham after his car was found abandoned on a Billings street June 23.
Waldron said she was informed by her boss early Tuesday of Nottingham's identity, and was asked to keep him busy until officers could apprehend him. She said it took officers about 45 minutes to enter the building and arrest Nottingham because floats from the nearby Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo Parade were using the street in front of the store for line-up.
"It was very nerve-racking," she said.
Waldron said the people of Rescued Treasures are in the business of helping and she hopes Nottingham learned something from his time with them.
"We hope we planted a seed," Waldron said. "We want him to know God loves him."
Moore said Casper officers received Nottingham's mugshot and information from the Havre Police Department and distributed it in the community. A Casper Police Department source phoned in the tip that led to Nottingham's capture, he said.
Havre Assistant Police Chief Mark Stolen said the Havre department worked closely with the FBI, Billings law enforcement and Wyoming officers to track down Nottingham.
Hill County Attorney Dave Rice said if Nottingham does not waive extradition, it could be several weeks before he is returned to Montana. Nottingham is in a Casper jail.
Rice said Hill County is planning to charge Nottingham with bail jumping and felony stalking when he returns.
The stalking charge stems from a violation of an order of protection issued against Nottingham in May, Rice said. The order of protection came after a charge of domestic violence was made by his wife in late April, according to city court documents.
Nottingham has pleaded not guilty to that charge and the case is pending.