Kidnapped Florida Girl, 3, Found Over A Year Later

| by Jared Keever

A 3-year-old Florida girl who has been missing for more than year was found safe Monday in the northeast Florida city of Palatka, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says.

Libby Abigail Baumann has been reunited with her father, Robert Baumann, reports The St. Augustine Record.

The reunion comes just one day after the girl’s story appeared on CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh,” according to a CNN story. An anonymous tip led authorities to the home of Megan Everett, the missing girl’s mother. 

Authorities had been looking for Everett since May 2014, when she disappeared from Broward County, Florida, after failing to return her daughter to the father’s custody per the terms of a custody arrangement, according to The Record. 

The paper reported that, according to a segment of Sunday’s show, Baumann had gone to pick up his daughter at Everett’s boyfriend’s home. When the boyfriend answered the door he told Baumann that Everrett “doesn’t live here. She moved.”  

She reportedly left behind a note for the boyfriend, explaining her decision to flee. 

“If I let them take her and vaccinate her and brainwash her, I wouldn't be doing what's right,” the note read, according to The Record. “I cannot let a judge tell me how my daughter should be raised. We will miss you, but I had to leave. I know she will be safer and happier with my family and I. Love, Meg and Lilly.”

Before she was found, Baumann told CNN he had been worried about his daughter for more than a year. 

“I think if something was to happen to my daughter, I don't think Megan's going to go and seek medical attention,” he said. “I don't think she's going to do anything to help the child.”

Sheriff’s deputies and special agents form the FBI arrested 23-year-old Everett Monday. She was booked into the Putnam County Jail on charges of kidnapping, interference with custody, and concealing a minor contrary to court order, according to CNN. 

She will be extradited to Broward County where there is a warrant for her arrest, the FBI told CNN.

Everett has also been charged federally for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to The Record. 

Sources: The St. Augustine Record, CNN

Photo Credit: The St. Augustine Record courtesy of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office,