Missing prison inmate causes little worry in Florence

Escapees part of life in prison community, residents say

POSTED: 11:22 PM MDT Oct 19, 2013 
FLORENCE, Colo. -

People in the Fremont County town of Florence said they won't let the escape of an inmate from a nearby prison camp keep them from enjoying their weekend.

"It's like having a closed college campus up there," said resident Peg Piltingsrud.  "People come and go, but we never see them.  It's not a big deal."

Giving residents less cause for worry is that the inmate, Ronnie Rainey, 46, is a white-collar criminal who was convicted of taking money from investors in a mail fraud scheme.  Authorities don't consider him armed and dangerous, have no active search for him, and believe he'll try to reach his home state of Oklahoma.

Another resident, Shane Liberty, said Rainey won't risk capture by coming to Florence or any other nearby town.

"The three cities -- Cañon, Penrose, Florence -- we're so inundated with corrections guards, law enforcement and other federal officials, they would be foolish to even stick around this area," he said.