A 23-year-old Florida woman was arrested on Monday after allegedly stealing her 3-year-old daughter to prevent her from learning about black history at school and receiving vaccinations, the Broward County Sun-Sentinel reported.
Authorities took Megan Elizabeth Everett into custody after being alerted by her landlord, who recognized Everett and the child, Lilly Abigail Baumann, from a story on the CNN program The Hunt with John Walsh. Everett was allegedly using an alias to rent the property in the town of Palatka at the time of her arrest.
First Coast News reported that police had to tell the girl her real name, because the suspect had also been using an alias for her. A cell phone, a 12-gauge shotgun and five 12-gauge shotgun shells were also recovered from the scene.
“It’s so great, I’m so relieved,” said the girl’s father, 27-year-old Robert Baumann. “It just kind of stunned me; I felt like I was running around with my head chopped off.”
Baumann last saw the girl on May 6, 2014, when he dropped her off at Everett’s home at the time in keeping with their shared custody agreement. He reported the girl as missing nine days later, after Everett failed to bring her back.
Federal investigators said Everett left Broward County with the girl after leaving a note with her boyfriend, Carlos Lesters, signaling her objection to Baumann’s intention to enroll their daughter in pre-school and have her get vaccinated when he got her back.
“You are a great dad,” Everett wrote to Lesters. “If I let them take her and vaccinate her and brainwash her, I wouldn’t be doing what’s right. I cannot let a judge tell me how my daughter should be raised. We will miss you. But I had to leave.”
Baumann also told the Sun-Sentinel at the time that the suspect did not want the girl to learn about black history and “just wanted her to learn about the Confederacy.”
According to First Coast News, Baumann has been reunited with his daughter. Everett faces charges of kidnapping, interference with custody and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and is being held without bond while awaiting extradition to Broward County.
“I was shocked,” Baumann said. “I didn’t even know what to say. I thought it was so surreal, you know. John Walsh put the show on last night and I couldn’t imagine less than 24 hours later that they would’ve found her.”
Watch First Coast News’ report, as aired on Monday, below.
An excerpt of Walsh’s report on Everett, as posted online, can be seen here.
[h/t Addicting Info]