tampabay.com

Fugitive is captured in Ocala motel

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published September 13, 2006


OCALA - Vonelle Cook, the alleged sex offender and child porn filmmaker who disappeared last week, has been found.

U.S. marshals and Tampa police detectives found Cook at LaQuinta Inn in Ocala, where he had been living in Room 110 since Sept. 10.

Cook, 62, was first arrested Aug. 31, accused of luring teens into his home to make pornographic films and of having sex with one boy. He had been on house arrest for several weeks, but on Sept. 7, the alarm on his monitoring bracelet went off and he didn't show up for an 8:30 a.m. hearing.

Tampa police spokesman Larry McKinnon said investigators received tip on Wednesday that Cook had been living at the hotel, so they set up surveillance there and found him registered under an alias.

Police said Cook recently sold or transferred ownership of his home, 10928 N 15th St. in Tampa, and two businesses, both adult bookstores.

"We feel like he was just holding out in Ocala, waiting for everything to die down so he could slip away," McKinnon said.

He was arrested without incident and was en route to Marion County Jail Tuesday night, where he would await transfer back to Tampa.

In his possession, police found $18,000 cash and a new car.