But Sgt. Gary Klinger, head of the missing persons unit for Florida's Polk County sheriff's department, realized he had underestimated this con man.
Martina Crivaro, 24, worked at a cell phone company in Lindsay's hometown. She happened to take the call when Baehring set up a prepaid account for Lindsay.
Baehring had convinced Crivaro that Lindsay was a victim who had to be rescued from emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
"He eventually gets Martina to agree to pick Lindsay up, take her to the airport and put her on a plane," says Klinger.
What Crivaro did was illegal, and she has pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with parental custody, and is under house arrest for two years.
Lindsay claimed she was going to stay with her best friend, Dawn Arnder, 18, in Ohio. The girls had never met, but Dawn and her father, Robert, were part of Baehring's plot to get Lindsay to Greece.
Baehring promised to give Arnder, whom he'd met online, $2,000 for his help. And he was betting that Lindsay could pass for Dawn and use her passport.
In Ohio, Arnder helped Lindsay cut her hair and dye it from blonde to dark brown. He gave her a pair of glasses and colored contact lenses that belonged to his daughter. Then, he put her on a bus to New York and handed her a plane ticket to Greece -- paid for by Baehring.
Meanwhile, Klinger's investigators found emails from Dawn Arnder on Lindsay's computer and called Ohio police.
Lindsay was gone when investigators went to Ohio with a search warrant. But police arrested Robert Arnder after they found scores of homemade sex videos at his house, many featuring children. They also found more child pornography, some relating to Lindsay, from Baehring on his computer.
Robert Arnder would later be sent to prison for 85 years for child rape in another case. It was found that his daughter, Dawn, had been a victim of abuse and was put into protective custody.
Having used others to get Lindsay to New York, Baehring used his own powers of persuasion to get her on the plane, giving her instructions by cell phone every step of the way.
Even as he was led off to prison, Baehring insisted that Lindsay was the only girl in the world for him. But everyone involved in the investigation strongly suspects that she wasn't his first victim.
48 Hours wanted to see how much of Baehring's story checked out, and emailed everyone on Baehring's Internet address book. The list reveals a trail of cyber-seductions - or at least attempted seductions - from eastern Europe, to the Mideast, to tiny Bigalow, Minn.
Three years ago, Kari Voss, then 15, of Bigelow met Baehring in a chat room for teens. Before long, he asked her to Greece, so she blocked him from her list of chat buddies.
It also happened to a young woman in Eastern Europe who began chatting online with the same charming stranger who asked for her picture, wanted to know about her relationships, and invited her to Greece.
When she refused, Baehring actually went to visit her and scared her so much that she's afraid to show her face or even to reveal her native country.
Investigators agree Baehring's intentions went way beyond seduction, and one Greek police officer says he believes that Baehring belongs to an international child pornography ring.
Baehring defends himself. "I don't believe that I am a monster," he says, insisting his intentions were honorable. He claims he helped abused children, and that any suggestion that he traded in child pornography is obscene. He admits he watched pornography with Lindsay, but only "to show her what is right and what is not right."
Chief Investigator Georgious Kokinnis believes Baehring eventually planned to use Lindsay as a prostitute and even force her to appear in pornographic films. Police still are investigating the source of his porn, many of which depict children as young as 4.
Baehring claims to be a member of 68 organizations that fight child pornography, but a 48 Hours check of some of the groups he named turned up empty.
In April, Baehring went on trial on charges of pornography and having sex with a minor. Baehring, however, denied having sexual contact with Lindsay.
Lindsay's mother, Stephanie, returned to Greece without Lindsay to testify against him. She thought that her daughter was too fragile to testify. But the court ruled that without Lindsay, there could be no trial. Stephanie was crushed.
The judge decided to put everything off until July, and demanded that Lindsay, now 16, appear in person to tell her own story.
Stephanie returned to Greece with her daughter, who was on medication. "This is going to be bad. I think it's going to be an emotional time," says Lindsay. "It's going to be very hard."
But without her testimony, the man who caused her so much pain would go free.
For support, Stephanie brought Lindsay's therapist to testify on her behalf.
During the three-day trial, the court heard from police, who tell of child pornography found on Baehring's computer; from a psychiatrist who says he's the best behaved inmate in jail; and from friends and neighbors who talked of the couple's odd relationship.
But the most dramatic moment comes when Lindsay took the stand. The judge cleared the courtroom. Without her mother or her therapist, Lindsay explained in detail how Baering sexually abused her, asking that he go to jail for what he did. But, astonishingly, she said that in spite of it all, she still loved him.
Stephanie says she's frustrated that Lindsay hasn't gotten over Baehring yet, but blames him for so thoroughly brainwashing her daughter. Ironically, Baehring tried to defend himself by claiming that Stephanie had drugged and brainwashed Lindsay into testifying against him.
"If they punish me, I don't care," says Baehring. "I care what's happened to her, is only what I'm interested for. Nothing else."
Baehring was found guilty, but got a sentence of only eight years. Stephanie was outraged. But Lindsay thinks it is fair.
Baehring seemed almost pleased afterward. Given parole and time off for good behavior, he could be out of prison in three years.
But Stephanie is worried that it will take much longer than that to undo all the damage he did. "We got a long road," she says. "But we're going to do it. She's getting better every day."
Kon Baehring's 8-year sentence will be up for review by a Greek judge next January. So far, he has served three years of his sentence.
As for Lindsay, her recovery will take a long time, perhaps years. But she and her mother vow that they will keep the pressure on to keep Baehring in prison and off the Internet.