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3 days of hunting, but no Allains

Turn yourselves in - that's the message for Arthur Allain from his lawyer. Allain and his wife have been missing since Tuesday, when they failed to show up for a court date.


The lawyer for on-the-lam Arthur "Tommy" Allain has a message for his client and his client's wife.

"I want them to turn themselves in," Elliott Ambrose said Thursday afternoon from his Brooksville office.

Ambrose also lashed out at some friends of the Allains' who have gone public in the last couple of days with accusations that he wasn't clear about when, exactly, the trial was going to start after the effects of Hurricane Wilma closed Hernando County courts on Monday, and that he's part of some conspiracy against the couple accused of child abuse and neglect.

"It's patently absurd," Ambrose said.

The third day of the hunt for the Allains did have a brief moment of excitement when a call came from a post office in Spring Hill saying the Allains were there trying to pick up a package. Sheriff's deputies raced over. It turned out to be one of their two grown daughters who live in the area.

"No Allains," sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Donna Black said.

Arthur Allain, 47, and Lori Allain, 49, have been AWOL since they failed to show up in court Tuesday morning, when they were set to stand trial.

They are accused of keeping a 10-year-old foster daughter locked in a room in their mobile home and starving the girl until she weighed 29 pounds.

After 12 pretrial hearings and more than 16 months since their initial arrest on June 18, 2004, their trial was scheduled to start earlier this week.

Everything, of course, is on hold now.

Ambrose said he last talked to the Allains on Saturday.

Robert Christensen of Homosassa, Lori Allain's attorney, talked to them Sunday, Ambrose said.

Ambrose's secretary talked to Lori Allain on Tuesday morning within the first hour after it became clear the couple weren't coming to court - Ambrose confirmed that on Thursday - but since then ... nothing.

"I thought Elliott Ambrose was going to call us," Mark Young, a friend of the Allains', told the Times on Tuesday morning. "Nobody called and said nothing. It's almost like they were set up for this."

Ambrose's response: "Any allegations by anyone that I advised my client not to show up for a court-ordered trial are blatantly false."

Christensen was out of the state Thursday and could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, at 3:30 p.m., chatter on the police scanner put the Allains at the post office on Philatelic Drive, near Deltona and Forest Oaks boulevards. False alarm.

"We're still following any leads and information we gather," said Black, the sheriff's spokeswoman. "That's it."

Ambrose's secretary has been going up and down the witness list and making calls to try to locate the Allains.

As for Ambrose?

He said he's not angry.

He said he's concerned.

He said he's still Arthur Allain's attorney - "at this point."

"But the first thing they need to do," he said, "is to turn themselves in and to do it in an orderly fashion. What I don't want to occur is some type of felony stop or felony arrest. That's a far more dangerous situation.

"I guess we'll see how this thing plays out."

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or 352 848-1434.

2005 Oct 28