“12 Days of Fugitives” Escapee Oscar Richardson Returns to Jail

FDLE and the Department of Corrections have been advised by Missouri authorities that Oscar Richardson, 61, was taken into custody again yesterday afternoon by the Taney County Sheriff’s Department. A Florida fugitive for more than 30 years, Richardson was originally captured on Dec. 19 but was released on bond days later.

Yesterday’s arrest by Missouri officials was a result of two outstanding warrants. Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed an extradition warrant calling for Richardson’s return to Florida. In addition, the Missouri Department of Revenue issued a warrant for three felony charges of failure to file a state income tax. Both warrants call for no bond.

“We sincerely appreciate the assistance of the Taney County Sheriff’s Department in ensuring this violent fugitive is back behind bars,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “It is appropriate that he return to Florida to face justice for his crimes.”

"I thank Governor Charlie Crist for his leadership in this endeavor and extend my appreciation to Missouri law enforcement for their quick and thorough work," said Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil. "The Department of Corrections Fugitive Unit and FDLE do an outstanding job and continue to focus on these fugitives."

Richardson was one of a dozen prison escapees featured as part of FDLE and DOC’s “12 Days of Fugitives,” a public outreach effort designed to generate tips on the whereabouts of Florida’s oldest and most violent prison escapees. Richardson was first located as a result of a tip received on the campaign’s toll-free hotline. At the time of his original arrest, Richardson had been living under the name Eugene Ward.

Richardson was arrested yesterday without incident at his home in Ridgedale, Missouri and is being held in the Taney County Jail.

The 11 fugitives still at large will be featured on the FOX television show “America’s Most Wanted” tonight. A reward for information leading to their capture is offered by FDLE, DOC and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

For more information on the “12 Days of Fugitives,” visit:

For more information contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky, or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information

Gretl Plessinger or Jo Ellyn Rackleff
DOC Public Affairs
(850) 488-0420