On March 31, Dr. Eric Tunell called the Safford Police Department and reported a theft of his caches from his home and a couple of burial sites. He said he had returned from a trip to the Ukraine about 10 days prior and noticed the money he had kept in a bucket in a secret location on his property had been replaced with rocks. A note with Global Positioning Satellite coordinates of other burial sites was also missing.
He then set out to recover his other buried caches of coin-laden PVC pipes and discovered two of his sites had been dug up and looted.
Dr. Tunell said only his children and ex-wife were aware of his penchant for burying money, and they all denied having to do anything with the theft when asked.
After a thorough investigation by the Safford Police Department, Jan Christine Hunt, 51, of Safford was arrested Friday on two warrants for theft of goods worth more than $25,000 and conspiracy to commit theft of goods worth more than $25,000 – both class-two felonies.
Her sons, Aaron Tunell and Sean Tunell, both of Tucson have also been charged with the theft of about $1 million worth of gold and silver coins and bars from Hunt's ex-husband and the boys' father, Dr. Eric Tunell. Sean faces the same charges as his mother, and Aaron faces those charges plus an additional theft charge and trafficking in stolen property charge.