Arizona fugitive, wife appear in court
COCONUT GROVE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Arizona couple arrested in South Florida after having allegedly been on the run from authorities appeared in bond court, Thursday.
Robert and Arielle Van Gundy appeared in bond court Thursday morning while officers from federal and local agencies continued to search for evidence on a sailboat at Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove.
Authorities carried carts filled with evidence including four assault riffles they said were in boxes along with 2,000-3,000 boxes of ammunition found inside the boat where, according to investigators, Van Gundy and his wife were going to flee to the Bahamas.
U.S. Marshals arrested Van Gundy and his wife, Arielle on Wednesday. Officials said he was fleeing for 16 charges of sexual contact with a minor and luring a minor for sexual exploitation in Arizona.
Arielle appeared in court in a wheel chair. Law enforcement said she told them she has a condition where she can't stand for long periods of time.
Arielle was arrested for having a concealed weapon without a permit. She had been reported as a missing person in Arizona.
Judge: "Her family is looking for her, so I'm afraid she's gonna run away again."
Arielle: "I won't run away. I was just with my husband."
After the pair drove 3,000 miles to South Florida, officials said they were staying at the Chesapeake Motel in Hialeah for the past month while they got their sailboat ready for their trip. They purchased the sailboat on July 31 for $4,000.
Van Gundy is an amateur sailor and on a blog about sailing he posted: "I want to cruise to the Bahamas [and maybe farther]. I would like to sail from Biscayne to Bimini. I will freely admit that the Gulf Stream crossing scares the crap out of me. I am not from this area [Miami, FL] so I don't know anyone. I'm from the desert and in a strange land."
Van Gundy will be sent back to Arizona to face charges. Arielle remains in jail on a $5,000 bond.
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