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Gaston woman’s staged disappearance cost U.S. Coast Guard $42,465.05

By Elizabeth DePompei
edepompei@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/10/02/qshYg.Em.138.jpeg|379
    - MECKLENBURG COUNTY JAIL
    Amy Lynette Robinson, 42, the Gaston County woman whose disappearance touched off a three-day search at North Myrtle Beach, surrendered to authorities early Thursday in Charlotte. She also goes by Amy Arrington.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/17/40/1rZC5X.Em.138.jpeg|398
    - North Myrtle Beach Police
    Paul David Arrington turned himself in Thursday on charges of criminal conspiracy. Police said Arrington also is charged with making a false complaint to a law enforcement officer and giving false information to a rescue squad or fire department.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/17/40/GnwAU.Em.138.jpeg|240
    - MECKLENBURG COUNTY JAIL
    Amy Lynette Robinson, 42, the Gaston County woman whose disappearance touched off a three-day search at North Myrtle Beach, surrendered to authorities early Thursday in Charlotte. She also goes by Amy Arrington.

A three-day search for a Gaston County woman who is accused of staging her disappearance to avoid a court date cost the U.S. Coast Guard more than $40,000, a police spokesman said.

Amy Robinson, who also goes by Amy Arrington, was reported missing by her husband July 5 in North Myrtle Beach. The case also was treated as a possible drowning.

On Wednesday morning, North Myrtle Beach police spokesman Patrick Dowling said authorities became convinced Robinson had not drowned. Instead, he said, police believed Robinson’s husband, Paul David Arrington, had filed the missing person report so his wife could avoid going to court Monday in Mecklenburg County to face charges of identity theft, forgery and obtaining property by false pretense.

Arrington turned himself in to the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety on Thursday on charges of criminal conspiracy. Police said Arrington is also charged with making a false complaint to a law enforcement officer and giving false information to a rescue squad or fire department.

The Coast Guard used a boat, helicopter and personnel to search for Robinson, Dowling said. He said the cost of those resources was $42,465.05.

The city’s expenses for the search are projected to be between $4,000 and $5,000 for personnel.

Authorities in Horry County, S.C., are considering the possibility of charging Arrington with some of the cost of the search, but those estimates have not been released.

Arrington posted bond Thursday and was released from custody. His first court date is scheduled for Aug. 13 in North Myrtle Beach.

Robinson turned herself in to Mecklenburg authorities Wednesday. She is in the Mecklenburg County jail under a $500,000 bond. A trial date has not been set.

Robinson’s criminal record dates to 1992 with charges mostly in Union, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Among the charges: credit card theft, larceny and financial card fraud. According to a search of court records by the Observer, Robinson served more than two years in prison for identity theft and fraud. She was released in 2008.

DePompei: 704-358-5067
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