Missing Elmira children recovered in Maryland; father allegedly attempted to leave the country by sailboat

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Two Elmira children who were reported missing have been found after their father allegedly planned to take them out of the country by sailboat.

According to Elmira Police, on May 22 a mother filed a report with Elmira Police saying her children had not been returned from visitation with their father and that she was worried they were going to be taken out of state.

Elmira Police found that the father, Jonathan Gavazzi, had vacated his residence and had not been to work. Police learned that he fled to Annapolis, Maryland and worked with New York State Police Special Victims Unit, New York State Missing Persons Clearinghouse and the Anne Arundel County Police Department in an attempt to locate the children.

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

The children were recovered and reunited with their mother, and Gavazzi was taken into custody. Gavazzi is currently incarcerated in the Anne Arundel County Jail pending an extradition hearing and has been charged with two counts of Custodial Interference 1st, a class E felony offense.

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