NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The search for a North Carolina woman who apparently faked her drowning at the South Carolina coast cost taxpayers about $50,000.
The Coast Guard’s cost for using a boat, helicopter and personnel to search for 42-year-old Amy Arrington was more than $42,000. The city of North Myrtle Beach also spent about $8,000.
Authorities in South Carolina’s Horry County are considering the possibility of charging Arrington with some of the cost of the search.
North Myrtle Beach authorities told WSOC-TV Thursday morning that the Gaston County woman turned herself in to Charlotte authorities.
She was placed in the Mecklenburg County Jail under a $500,000 bond.
North Myrtle Beach Public Safety officials announced Wednesday that they had determined Arrington did not drown in the ocean.
Officials said Arrington conspired with her husband, Paul David Arrington, for her to disappear to avoid having to appear in court in Charlotte to answer to charges filed against her.
Paul Arrington spoke exclusively to WSOC Thursday before he left Gastonia to turn himself in to police in North Myrtle Beach. He is in custody after turning himself in at 4 p.m.
Arrington said he knew about his wife’s criminal history, but said she has been a law-abiding citizen and the perfect companion since they met in 2012.
He cried as he read love letters he said she left for him around the house.
He doesn’t think she’s guilty of stealing money from the two people’s accounts, but he was still worried she may go to prison.
When they arrived in North Myrtle Beach last weekend, he decided to tell police she disappeared. He did it so she wouldn’t have to go to trial on Monday.
“It was a stupid choice, I mean very stupid. One that we both regret that was made, but I love my wife and I’m going to do anything I can to protect her,” Paul Arrington said.
North Myrtle Beach police were looking to charge Amy Arrington for planning her own disappearance. Paul Arrington is expected to be charged with filing a false police report in North Myrtle Beach.
Amy Arrington’s past
Neighbors also did not know Amy Arrington was supposed to go to trial on Monday, accused of stealing thousands of dollars out of people’s accounts.
Court records show three other names for Amy Arrington: Amy Robinson, Amy Goebel and Amy Sutton. Her history of fraud goes back 10 years in Mecklenburg County.
Records show she went to prison in February 2006 on fraud charges and was released at the end of 2008.
She’s charged now with using another woman’s account information to make payments of hundreds and even thousands of dollars to buy things on Amazon, pay a cable bill and pay a bank bill of almost $7,500.
She was scheduled to go to trial in May, but received a note from the hospital in Gastonia saying she was in the emergency department.
Channel 9 went to her last address in Mount Holly on Tuesday afternoon, but was told she hasn’t been there for months.