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For Immediate Release

Contact:
June 11, 2009 Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal
Andrew Deserto (216) 551-6234
U.S. MARSHALS LEAD NATIONWIDE MANHUNT FOR FUGITIVE SEX OFFENDER WHO DISAPPEARED WITH MISSING TODDLER

NOVFTF LogoMansfield, OH – The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is on the hunt for fugitive Robbi Douglas Potter, 27. Potter is a convicted sex offender who authorities believe is on the run with his girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter.

Potter is wanted on a state warrant for parole violation and on a federal warrant for probation violation. Potter is a convicted Tier III sex offender for crimes of sex offense of a minor. On May 28, Potter fled a halfway house in Mansfield, which led to the violation charges. It is believed that Potter was assisted by Candace Watson, 24, and that the two of them spent several days at a campground in central Ohio after the escape. Potter and Watson were last seen May 31 when they picked up Watson’s 3-year-old daughter, Haylee Elizabeth Jade Donathan, in Crestline and then disappeared. They were last seen driving a two-tone blue, 1988 Chevrolet pick-up truck with Ohio temporary plate Q645916. The truck reportedly has a lightening bolt design on the sides and decals on the back window.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force began assisting in the fugitive investigation June 4 and is pursuing all leads and tips. On Tuesday, Task Force Officers arrested three individuals for charges of complicity to escape. Those arrested were Kyle Watson, 21, James Donathan, 24, and Nichole Kirkpatrick, 20.

Watson is the brother of Candace Watson, Donathan is the biological father of the missing child and Kirkpatrick is the girlfriend of Donathan. Yesterday, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office officially charged Candace Watson with complicity to escape and a warrant is now out for her arrest.

The U.S. Marshals are asking for assistance from the public by contacting (866) 4WANTED with any information that can assist with this investigation. Callers may remain anonymous and reward money is available for information that leads to the arrest of the fugitive or recovery of the child.

“Our Task Force has made this investigation a top priority. Our primary concern is the safety of this child and of any children that this fugitive may approach,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott. “We ask that anyone with information please contact our hotline immediately for the benefit of this small child.”

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Richland County is composed of the following federal, state and local agencies: Bellville Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, Butler Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Mansfield Municipal Probation, Mansfield Police Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Ontario Police Department, Plymouth Police Department, Richland County Probation, Richland County Prosecutor’s Office, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation and the Crestline Police Department are also assisting in this investigation.

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Robbi Potter, Candace Watson, Haylee Donathan, and Suspected Truck