A Massachusetts man who allegedly kidnapped his two daughters 18 years ago and built a new secret life in Florida has been arrested outside his $1 million mansion. Steven Fagan, who used the name William Martin, is charged with parental kidnapping after his arrest Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla. He is being held without bail in a Palm Beach County Jail.
The girls, now 23 and 21 years old, had been told by their father that their mother was dead, authorities said. "This was part of an elaborate scheme planned out in advance," Middlesex County District Attorney Thomas Reilly said. He would not identify the mother or the girls.Fagan, a lawyer who had been a supervisor at the Harvard Law School legal aid bureau, allegedly abducted the children after they made a weekend visit to his home in Framingham, Mass., in October 1979. The girls were 2 and 4 years old at the time.
Before he disappeared, Fagan transferred his home into his parents' names. They then sold it and also disappeared, joining Fagan after he settled in Florida with his daughters. Fagan also took the Social Security number of a boy residing in western Massachusetts.
After he disappeared, the mother sought a court order and hired private detectives. "Your heart goes out to someone deprived of the joy of raising two girls," Reilly said.
A few months ago, state police got a tip that Fagan might be living in Florida. Authorities would not say where the tip came from.
Authorities said a reunion will likely be planned soon between the girls and their mother.