Elmira’s father charged after trying to flee the country with children on a sailboat

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ELMIRA, NY (WETM) — Jonathan Gavazzi, who allegedly attempted to leave the country with his two children by sailboat, has been indicted by a Chemung County grand jury on two counts of first-degree custody interference.

According to Elmira police, Gavazzi had an extradition hearing in Anne Arundel, MD County Court and waived extradition to New York State. Gavazzi was brought back to Elmira and arraigned in Elmira City Court on two counts of interference with custody 1st and one count of criminal contempt 2n/a with a protective order issued.

Gavazzi was released due to New York’s bail reform law.

According to Elmira Police, on May 22 the children’s mother filed a report with Elmira Police saying that her children had not returned from a visit from their father, Gavazzi, and that she feared that they are taken out of state.

Elmira police discovered that Gavazzi had left his residence and had not gone to work. Police learned he fled to Annapolis, Md., and worked with the New York State Police Special Victims Unit, the Missing Persons Information Center of the New York State and Anne Arundel County Police Department in an attempt to locate the children.

A family member from Maryland was interviewed and it was learned that Gavazzi was on a sailboat in the Annapolis area and planned to leave the country with the children. A warrant was obtained for Jonathan’s arrest and Anne Arundel County Police and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources located the sailboat and made contact.

The children were picked up and reunited with their mother.

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