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Fugitive Treasure Hunter To Remain Behind Bars In Florida

A treasure hunter accused of cheating investors out of their share of his historic underwater find of gold is remaining behind bars. Tommy Thompson appeared before a judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday. But because he has not formally hired an attorney licensed to defend him in federal court, a hearing to confirm his identity and seek his extradition to Ohio was again put off. As in his court appearance last week, 62-year-old Thompson told U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon that a variety of health problems have put him "in a very fragile situation." Brannon said Thompson's "health issues can't stand in the way of a case proceeding." Separately, Thompson's longtime companion, Alison Antekeier, was denied bond and ordered held awaiting a decision on her own extradition. The saga of Tommy Thompson began in Columbus in the 1980's. After Thompson found millions of dollars in lost treasure he allegedly skipped out on members of his crew and scores of investors here in Columbus. Thompson skipped out on civil proceedings in 2006 and failed to show up after a bench warrant was issued by the Federal Court here in Columbus. Thompson was arrested in Florida in late January. He appeared in a Florida court again today. Associated Press reporter Amanda Lee Myers has been covering the case for about two years. You can hear Amanda Myer's interview with WOSU's Marilyn Smith.