OGDEN — A man who escaped from the Weber County Jail by posing as another inmate was recaptured in Idaho.
U.S. marshals took Kaleb Wiewandt, 41, into custody about 3 p.m. Friday in Mountain Home, Idaho, just outside of Boise.
Authorities had been looking for Wiewandt since Tuesday after he shaved his head and memorized the personal information of fellow inmate Matthew Kyle Belnap, 36, of Pleasant View, then posed as Belenap, who was scheduled to be released from jail that day.
Investigators believe Belnap, who was in jail for shoplifting, was a participant in the scheme. He was charged Thursday in 2nd District Court with aiding and abetting an escape, and obstructing justice, both third-degree felonies.
Wiewandt was being held in Weber County on a federal indictment of escaping from custody. Wiewandt was convicted on federal charges of mail and wire fraud in Arizona and was staying at the Geo Care Residential Reentry Center in Salt Lake City when he escaped, according to court records. He is scheduled to go to trial in that case in May.
Marshals from Boise and Salt Lake City’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team were able to track Wiewandt to southern Idaho where they say he was a passenger in a vehicle, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Office.
“Troopers and deputies from Elmore County, Idaho, located the vehicle on I-84 southeast of Mountain Home. Law enforcement then executed a traffic stop on the vehicle, and Wiewandt was arrested without incident,” the marshals office stated.
“Like so many others before him, Mr. Wiewandt will learn that you can’t escape the long arm of the law. I hope his four-day vacation was worth it because I suspect he won’t see the light of day for quite some time,” U.S. Marshal for Utah Matthew Harris said in a prepared statement.
Wiewandt is from Orange County in Southern California and was originally believed to be headed that way. Harris, however, said on Saturday that when Wiewandt was arrested he may have been headed to Oregon.
Investigators also believe the man who was driving Wiewandt had no idea who Wiewandt was or that he was wanted, Harris said. That part of the case was still under investigation. The driver was not arrested.
After Wiewandt walked out of jail, staffers discovered emails Wiewandt had sent to a woman making arrangements for her to pick him up, according to charging documents. But as of Saturday, Wiewandt and Belnap were the only two people arrested in the case.
Harris said Wiewandt could now potentially face a new federal charge of escape. He remained in custody in Idaho on Saturday awaiting an extradition hearing to be brought back to Utah. Harris said it was unlikely that Wiewandt would be returned to the Weber County Jail.