tv The Hunt With John Walsh CNN August 9, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
he may be right here in oregon. vance always said if you want to hide from the police, hide in plain sight. they never find you. back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. in two weeks i became the parent of a murdered child, and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like doing there waiting for justice, and over those years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a man hunter. i'm out there looking for bad
guys. dear c, i feel like this is the first time i wrote you a letter when we first met. i love you and lilly loves you. 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. ♪
>> she just was always changing her personality. she never really had a personality of her own. it was whatever her friends decided to do. they were lesbian. they were goth, i mean, she even went to church and sang in the choir. she went from one extreme to the other. >> i don't think she really knew what she wanted to be or what she wanted to do. she was trying to find herself, maybe. >> when you look back at this erratic behavior, jumping from crowd to crowd, friend to friend, trend to trend, you've got to know that this is going to affect her ability to make a good judgment, which would certainly negatively affect the people in her life. ♪
>> megan was very bubbly, she was what i consider a little weird at the time, because she just very into different cultures, different languages. when i first met megan, i was a swing shift manager at the local mcdonalds, and she was just a regular employee/cashier. i would work the night shift. she would close with me so she'd be getting off at the same time. things became a little more personal. and then, you know, we started hanging out outside of work, and it just kind of progressively became more than just a friendship. >> robert, he knew what he wanted with life. like, he knew he wanted to finish school. he knew he wanted to buy a
house. he knew all these things ahead of time. so i said, well, maybe this will be good for her, you know? >> when megan found out she was pregnant, that was the game changer. that was a big change. >> here megan was, she didn't really have a home. she didn't have a bed of her own. she would sleep on my mom's couch. sometimes she would spend the night at robert's house. i don't think she really knew where she belonged. and now she was going to have a baby. >> when i got the text message that she was breaking up with me all i could think of was no, i couldn't understand why, and i
couldn't understand why i've done everything i can to financially be ready, anything that any other father would do, i'm sitting there thinking, what did i do wrong? what happened? >> after they broke up, it seemed like she definitely was trying to cut him out of her life completely. >> only communication i ever got with her was through her mother pam. pam called me and said enough is enough. you need to come here and be here for the birth of your child, regardless of what megan wants or doesn't want. ♪ when i saw lilly for the first time, all the hurdles, all of our arguments, all the aggravation, the sadness, everything, it was worth it. i'd go through any hurdle possible to sit there that same
day and see my child for the first time lilly was always outgoing. she was always a bundle of joy. always wanting to learn, touching new things. picking things up, asking what this is, learning to talk. as a father, when you're unmarried and have a child in the state of florida, you have absolutely no rights until you seek those parental rights. i might see lilly for two or three hours, if i'm lucky, once a week. maybe twice a week for half an hour. and carlos came into the picture and they moved in together. there was no chance at all that i was going to be in this child's life. megan was fixated on, well, she has this new boyfriend, and this is lilly's new family.
a lot of information i found out about carlos was through the social media. lot of it was through youtube itself. because he has a youtube page. and some of the people didn't like what he had to say, so they would call him and threaten him. and he even went on his youtube page and made a video. ♪ >> to the retarded people, [ bleep ], [ bleep ], i live on [ bleep ] street, sun rise, florida. so if you're going to come get me, come get me. [ bleep ] gone or somebody else, you want to show what a bad ass you are, this is where i'm at. i ain't no bad ass, but i ain't scare of [ bleep ] any of y'all. ♪ >> as the parent of four children and being involved in children's issues since 1981, i can't look at carlos lester's
videos and not be concerned and disturbed. this is not the guy that lilly baumann should be hanging around with. this is not the guy that megan ever should say, this is my new boyfriend, thereby, he is the step daddy of lilly. >> i fear for my daughter's life every single minute she stayed in the house. ♪ >> he was looking for somebody he could mold, he could train, he could indoctrinate into his belief system. >> it was just like nonstop, nonstop learning the confederacy.
>> i knew that regardless of what megan was doing, as long as she was living in a house with carlos, it wasn't a safe environment for lilly. he belongs to a group called the virginia flaggers, based out of richmond, virginia. >> they go to protests, civil war battlegrounds and have get togethers all around reenacting the confederacy and the wars and trying to bring back the confederate flag in places that, you know, took them down. >> now, virginia flaggers is a small group. they have the right to protest. they have the right to say what they want to say about the
confederate flag. you want forget that the confederate flag was the symbol of one of the worst periods in american history. it's not something this country is proud of, and it's not a great choice by megan everett to associate with a guy who associates with the virginia flaggers. >> he was looking for somebody he could mold, he could train, he could indoctrinate into his belief system. >> sweet. >> who are the three people on stone mountain? >> jefferson davis, stonewall jackson, am i right? >> so far. >> just like nonstop, nonstop learning the confederacy. >> pretty much lilly was the virginia flaggers' poster child.
they loved to take pictures of her with confederate hats and shirts and bibs. i don't see her playing with toys in any picture. i see ammunition. he's allowing my daughter to play with live ammunition. i spoke to megan about it, and it was, oh, well, you know, take me to court. [ gunshot ] >> robert baumann came in to me, very concerned about his daughter lilly. i told him he needs to establish formal paternity and also request custody. >> i got to know robert very well as a parent. he asked me to write him a
character reference to take to court. it was about lilly's best interest. so siding with robert was the right thing to do. >> the mother's own mother was prepared to testify for robert. and the mother's own sister was prepared to testify. now that is a total oddity. usually blood is thicker than water. it was going to be her way or no way. no school. not going to social ize. she was not going to get vaccinations and not going to learn anything but about the confederacy. and something had to be done about that. >> when i was walking into court, i was sure i was going to get full custody. >> we felt we had a strong case
going to trial, because we had the evidence. so, and the evidence was through this carlos lester's guy. and through megan herself, posting those things. >> the judge gave them 50/50, shared custody. robert would have lilly for an entire week from tuesday to tuesday. and then megan would have lilly for an entire week, from tuesday to tuesday. >> and that was it. my child was still allowed in the environment. my child was still allowed to be around this confederate organization. he put no limitations whatsoever. >> the information that we have of the virginia flaggers is from our perspective, they're completely legitimate organization. >> i know how tough it is for family court judges.
i know their days are 12 to 14 hours. i know they're overwhelmed. but somewhere that judge has to sit there and say, as tired as i am, as sick as i am about these continuing cases, i've got to think about one thing, the welfare of this child. i have to say in this instance, i think the judge made a very bad decision because it gave megan everett plenty of time with joint custody to plan a run. >> i got my daughter that first week, and then i brought her back. i went to pick her up on may 13th. i knock on carlos' door. he opens the door and says megan doesn't live here. she moved. and he slammed the door in my face. so, you know, i called the sunrise police department and went there, and there's no sign of a child.
or megan. or any clothes or baby stuff or anything. and reality kind of hit me. and in the panic hit me. what am i supposed to do now? how am i supposed to find her? where do i go from here? >> there's a very high likelihood that she had assistance, both financially and logistically to get out of this area. >> one flagger responded to me. one.
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authored by megan everett, and it was direct at carlos lesters. it says dear c, 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. i know she will be safer and happier with my family and i, love meg and lilly. >> she says she's with family. we've exhausted every family member, and she's not with any of them. ♪ >> there's a very high likelihood that she had assistance, both financially and logistically to get out of this area. carlos lesters in our opinion hasn't had any criminal involvement at this point.
he's assisted us with this case, and as far as we know, he has no information about their whereabouts. >> i sent them all an e-mail when she went missing. one flagger responded to me. one. do you know what he said? is this a joke? i know this little girl. and i said no, it's no joke. this is her grandmother. she's really missing. and he got offline for a little while, and he came back on and said i don't know anything. and that was the end of it. >> a parental kidnapping, in this instance, particularly when the mother takes the child, i don't believe law enforcement is so quick to immerse themselves fully into the investigation, because the opinion, basically, is the baby's with their mother. really, is there any harm coming
to her? >> there are so many pluses and advantages to the non-custodial parent, the fleeing parent, and there are so little resources for the parent that was left behind, the parent who has been violated, who desperately needs their children. usually it starts with the fact that law enforcement doesn't take it that serious. they go, you know, the little girl's with her mother, or she's with her father. it couldn't be that bad. it's not a serial pedophile or kidnapper. that's mistake number one. >> if i had to narrow it down, i would say that they're somewhere in the southeast region of the united states, just based on the information that we have so far. >> the longer she stays away, the worse this gets. if she ever expects to have any kind of relationship with her daughter in the future once she's caught, it's better if she just turns herself in, and she will be caught. it's just a matter of time.
>> i don't believe that lilly's safe at all. i think if something was to happen to my daughter, i don't think megan's going to go and seek medical attention. i don't think she's going to do anything to help my child. i want my daughter to be found. i want my daughter to be safe. >> the most important thing is and always has been lilly's safety. i want her to be with people who care about her, first and foremost. and that's with robert. and that's here with her family.
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johnny napier seemed like a real nice, everyday person you would meet on the street. he did painting ands restore ration work on vehicles. he did handy man and carpentry type of stuff. >> i was the assistant manager at taylor's, it was a gas station. johnny napier used to come in and buy cigarettes every morning. he started talking to me more like, oh, you know, where you from, you have family here, you know, stuff like that. do you need some help at the house with your kids or just,
that's pretty much how he was. ♪ >> at some point during the relationship, john made an offer to jennifer to start picking her daughter up from school, to help alleviate any costs associated with babysitting. >> many, many pedophiles that i've run across over the years are the most charming, helpful, members of the community. we all know about the pedophile priest, jerry sandusky. everybody knows about those type of pedophiles. but they never think it can happen to them. >> he lived directly behind where i worked. and he would take her to the house for a little while.
my daughter at that time was around 7 years old. and he would just spend time with her, help her with her homework. give her a snack. just, you know, basic after school stuff. everything seemed pretty normal. ♪ >> it was just a normal day and me and jennifer's daughter were just at her house, and we were just talking. when it came to bringing up johnny talking about johnny, saying anything about him, she was kind of acting like a little strange. i said, is there anything going on that shouldn't be going on? is someone hurting you? and her response was just, she just looked at me and looked at the ground and said no. but it was like one of those
kind of nos that you know that something happened, but she was just scared to say something happened. at that point, i just decided to go to her mom and tell her that look, i think you need to go have a talk with your daughter and see what's going on. >> we had taken my daughter and just asked her, has anybody ever maybe made you uncomfortable or touched you in any way you didn't like or maybe that you thought was wrong or uncomfortable? and she just sat there, and she had this distant look on her face. and i could tell -- sorry.
>> that moment for parents is a nightmare, and i think two emotions flood through them. i can't believe it happened to my most precious possession, the person, the thing that i love the most in the world, and number two, guilt. >> i called the police, and told them, i was, like, we just found out something horrible about my daughter. we found out she's been sexually abused. >> on july 8th, we met with john napier at his residence and arrested him for that offense. >> i was, like, thank god he's, he's in jail. he's at least, can't be near
anyone or anymore kids, and hopefully, you know, this will be the end of it. >> few days after being arrested, john napier was able to make bond. >> i went ahead and agreed to bail johnny out because he was a low risk and johnny had absolutely no criminal record. i don't even think he had a speeding ticket. monday morning when we go to court, he's not in the courtroom. i thought, oh, my god, he's gone. he's on the run. >> we didn't hear anything about him, nothing at all. just vanished into thin air. i was terrified. you know, who's his next victim going to be?
♪ >> he would have pretty much total access to her while they were in the basement. >> i guess, in our minds at the time, we were doing the right thing. can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
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seemed like a very likeable person. he had a southern drawl. and looked like he had some business experience and what not. and so he seemed like a good suit. >> and who was sean denning? of course, he's johnny napier, arrested in texas, makes bond. jumps the bond. gets a new identity, drives north to montana. pedophiles are better than any car salesman you've ever encountered in your life. they know how to pick the game. they know how to pick the target. they know how to get inside the defenses, and they know how to manipulate. and they're the best at it. ♪
>> over time, he became, yeah, very valuable to the business and to our personal lives. >> classic setup. where does johnny napier live? in the basement. who's upstairs? grandma. who lives next door? dana with the beautiful 4-year-old daughter. his dreams have come true. he's inside. >> he came in, and he treated her like she was his own child. and they played together. and it didn't seem anything other than a father-type figure.
he bought her a mouse for christmas. and she, of course, was excited about it and everything. and it was going to live in his bedroom. >> my mom got very, very sick in 2011. she flew out to see some doctors in seattle. so during that time, while she was out there, whenever i got called in to work or after my daughter got out of day care, she would go spend time with sean.
and sometimes that meant her spending the night there. in april of 2012, my daughter and i were laying in bed watching a movie, and she tried to put my hand on her private areas, and i told her no. we don't do that. and she said, well, sean does it. she was actually still potty she was actually still potty training. and we were still wiping her when she went to the bathroom. we were showering her. and that included sean. he did all that with her too. so there was also the question of is that what she meant by him touching her there? so what my mom and i decided was that we weren't going to let her
be alone with him again, just in case. >> and he said i would never, i mean, he looked me in the eyes, and i would never touch your granddaughter, and i'd never do anything like that. i love her, and on and on and on. >> he seemed very genuine. he almost looked like he was going to cry. ♪ i don't know, the more i looked at him, and i thought, what i thought i knew about him, and it's like, there's just no way he could ever do this. he's not that type of person. so i guess, in our minds at the time, we were doing the right
thing, because we were protecting her by not letting her be alone with him, but it should have been protecting her by not ever letting her be around him either, instead of not being, yeah. >> he would have pretty much total access to her while they were in the basement. robin was very ill at that time, slept a lot. dana worked. the family business. and was at work quite often, she wasn't even there to watch her child. she would have grandma watch the child, which really was sean watching the child. >> i don't know. i just know how horrible this sounds.
how stupid i was to believe him. and -- >> in the summer of 2013, a relative of robin and dana's gets wind that johnny napier, alias sean denning is molesting this 4-year-old girl. this relative does the right thing, takes matters into her own hands, calls child services in montana. >> we spoke with dana on the phone and told her to go to child protection office in miles city and that we would meet with her there. we knew at that time that she
had sean denning with them. >> on our way over to the office, he said, well, just drop me off at the bank here. i want to get some money out. >> he told her that he would meet up with her later. that later never came. >> never saw him again. >> the dna produced negative results. facial analysis produced negative results. >> sean denning did not exist. but managing my symptoms was all i was doing.
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we did multiple search warrants of the home. the first search warrant we went in with the sole intention of trying to identify who mr. denning was in real life. >> unfortunately, the prints that were obtained produced negative results. the dna produced negative results. facial analysis produced negative results. conventional searches produced negative results. we decided it would be in our best interest to get out a seeking information flyer. >> january of 2014, i got a call from an acquaintance of johnny's. he said ruth, johnny's picture's
on facebook, but he's not using his real name. when i saw the poster, i said oh, my god, that's johnny, he's been in montana all this time, and i've been looking for him in texas. took a deep breath. i gathered up my notes, and i contacted the fbi. >> when she provided the name, i obtained a driver's license picture for the state of texas for johnny napier, and i could see it was clearly the guy we knew as sean denning. there was no doubt about it. >> i hope that he is found, because he's not going to stop. this is, this is not the end. montana was not the end.
>> just when we were about wrapping up this story on johnny napier and putting it on air an amazing thing happened. a man who was living in a trailer park in springfield, missouri recognized johnny napier's picture from a flyer on social media, and he did the right thing. he made that call. >> new information right now. about one of the fbi's most wanted. captured in springfield. police say someone who lived near johnny napier recognized the man from facebook photos and turned him in. he was arrested, but not without an hour long standoff. >> police had their guns drawn right behind that tree over there, at this mobile home park right over here. and as you can tell, there's toys in front of the mobile home park. she says he was a handy man around town, and she's just in shock and he helped everyone. >> johnny napier has been charged in texas with indecency
with a child, a second degree felony. it carries a possible prison sentence of 2-20 years. in montana he's been charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent. he'll be tried in texas first. this case is what i've been talking about for years. classic child predator, moving from state to state. one step ahead of the law. multiple victims, and the only reason his career was ended, because of you. you made the difference. you had the courage to make that call. that's how we catch these guys. >> i think he's a horrible person, who deserves to go to prison and tell all the prisoners he's a child molester. and let him get some of his own medicine. and then he can die.
back in 1981, i had the american dream the beautiful wife, a house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. in two weeks i became the parent of a murdered child. and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over the years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a man hunter.