'Anti-Vaccine Kidnapping' Ends a Year Later

Megan Everett, 23, is arrested in Florida
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2015 5:17 PM CDT
Mom Arrested in 'Anti-Vaccine Kidnapping'
Megan Everett, 23.   (Putnam County Sheriff's Office)

Florida sheriff's deputies said today they have arrested Megan Everett, 23, who allegedly kidnapped her 3-year-old daughter last year to ensure she wouldn't be vaccinated, the Florida Times Union reports. Everett's landlady apparently saw them on the CNN show "The Hunt with John Walsh" and turned them in. It all began last year in Sunrise, Fla., when Everett didn't return daughter Lilly Baumann to her dad, Robert Baumann, as part of their custody agreement, the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time. Everett boyfriend Carlos Lesters said she had left only a note: "If I let them take her and vaccinate her and brainwash her, I wouldn't be doing what's right," it read. "I cannot let a judge tell me how my daughter should be raised. We will miss you. But I had to leave."

But Baumann says vaccination wasn't the only issue between them: "She wanted to home-school my daughter," he says. "I didn't want that to happen. She didn't want Lilly to learn about black history. She just wanted her to learn about the Confederacy." As it happens, Carlos is described in court papers as a gun enthusiast who loves the Confederate flag and has family in the South. As for vaccinations, "I think she wanted to keep her from being vaccinated because that would keep her out of day care," Baumann says. Now Lilly is with her dad again, and Everett is in Putnam County jail on no bail on charges of interference with custody, concealing minors contrary to a court order, and kidnapping. (Read more vaccines stories.)

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