BROWN COUNTY, Ind. — A security officer at an Indiana state park was the first to alert authorities to an 8-year-old Nevada girl and her suspected abductor last week.
Brown County State Park security officer Brian Foy noticed something unusual Friday night while on patrol.
"I came upon this car parked across from the south gate gatehouse," Foy said.
A black Cadillac with Nevada plates and a headlight out, a driver who put sunglasses on at night, and an 8-year-old girl in the backseat who wouldn't make eye contact.
The driver said he needed a campsite and some gas to get there.
"I looked at my truck temperature, it's 16 degrees outside," Foy said. "I'm really ultimately worried about the little girl in the backseat. It's so cold."
As he started talking to the driver, Foy said he kept noticing red flags in his actions and conversation.
"Fishy stories, yeah, fishy stories. He got out and he put on a pair of sunglasses right after he got out and it's pitch black out. I thought, 'Well, this is not right.' It was just an odd situation. Things didn't add up," Foy explained. "I tried to talk to the little girl, tapped on the glass. She wouldn't turn around, wouldn't answer me. So I got them some gas, took them to a campsite."
He also called conservation officers and sheriff's deputies for help.
It was at the campground where conservation officers realized Foy's instinct was right. Something was wrong.
"They all kind of converged on the state park to check on the child's welfare. Turns out, Mr. Eggers has pending charges for what's in Nevada is called abduction or concealment of a child," explained Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams.
The driver, who police say at first wouldn't identify himself, was a wanted man.
Daniel Eggers, prosecutors say, had been on the run with his non-custodial daughter for at least five months. He'd had a warrant out since September.
Brown County deputies arrested him in the park Friday night. The Department of Child Services temporarily placed the little girl, who was unharmed, with a family in Indiana. Adams said her mother soon will be picking her up and taking her home.
She's safe, all thanks to Foy's instincts.
"Kudos to law enforcement. Kudos to whose ever 'Spidey sense' was out there to make it ... you know, something wasn't right," Adams said. "DNR, he did the right thing."
"I'd just encourage everybody to trust your gut! really, If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not right so say something," Foy said. "I'm glad she's safe. I was really happy that the girl got rescued and that she's gonna be on her way back home, where she should be."
In his initial hearing Monday, Eggers pleaded not guilty and waived extradition. He's being held without bond in Brown County for now.
He faces a misdemeanor locally for allegedly not identifying himself to police.
Authorities from Nevada will pick him up and take him back to that state to face the more serious felony charges.