Broward Woman Accused Of Parental Kidnapping In Custody
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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – A woman accused of kidnapping her daughter from South Florida was arrested at a rental home in Putnam County Monday after the case was featured on a CNN's "The Hunt with John Walsh" over the weekend.
Megan Everett, 23, is expected to be extradited to Broward County, where she'll face charges of kidnapping, interference with custody, and concealing a minor contrary to a court order.
The little girl, Lilly Abigail, was reunited with her father, Robert Baumann, after mor than a year.
"Long awaited day, it's been over a year. Kind of just caught me by surprise," Baumann told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana in a phone interview as he drove the 300 miles to Putnam County from his home in Davie to pick up his daughter from protective custody.
He says he was at work when he got the call Monday afternoon.
"I definitely thought that Megan was no longer in the state," he said.
Baumann said he had joint custody of Lilly with his ex-girlfriend, Megan Everett.
But in May 2014, when he went to pick up his then- 2-year-old daughter, she and her mother were gone.
A federal court filing shows Megan left a note for her boyfriend at the time, saying she was taking her daughter away because she didn't want "them" to "vaccinate her" and "brainwash her."
Baumann said when he went to pick up his daughter, Megan's boyfriend at the time, named Carlos, told him Megan and Lilly didn't live there anymore and he slammed the door in his face.
Baumann's quest to find his daughter was featured in an episode of CNN's "The Hunt with John Walsh" this weekend.
A landlord watching the show called in a tip, that she recognized the girl and her mother as tenants, who had moved in very recently.
With that new information, authorities caught up with Everett Monday near Palatka, just east of Gainesville.
"This is our first capture this year and somebody did the right thing," host John Walsh said.
"It goes to show program like that make a difference. We were happy we could be part of it," said Capt. Dick Schauland with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
Baumann immediately hopped in his car and made the drive to pick up his daughter.
Before their reunion, he told us he hadn't put much thought into what he would say to her, but decided keeping it simple and straight from the heart would be best.
"Tell her I love her and that I miss her and take it from there. Hopefully, she remembers me," he said.
In addition to the kidnapping charge Everett faces in state court, she's also looking at a charge in federal court of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
That federal charge alone carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
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