Listen on the go: Four Days investigation, narrated by Kevin Donovan
On the day after his daughter was kidnapped, Kevin Donovan was asked whether he wanted to believe the people who say they saw her go missing with her family in Washington state.
“I want to believe, for sure,” he told CNN.
On Wednesday morning, Donovan took me into his home to show me the room where he slept, his room by the bedroom, where he kept the cell phone he used to call 911 and where he slept at night. He opened his closet and explained the contents of the closet. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a polo shirt. He said he was never allowed to have a shirt on the bed.
“I like my room pretty plain,” Donovan said. “I know it looks clean. But it’s not.”
The search for his missing daughter, Amber Lynn Donovan, had drawn massive interest on the Internet.
Donovan said he saw a picture of his daughter at his son’s school. He sent her a letter. He went to her high school, he said, wearing white shorts like those she wore. As he showed me the letter, he read each word aloud, pausing for extra emphasis as he used a red Sharpie to highlight sections that he believed he had misspelled.
“I thought that was pretty sweet,” he said. “But I also think, you know, sometimes you just make up stuff.”
Kevin Donovan says he was not in the first plane or on the first flight to Washington, at least, after his daughter vanished.
There was some initial concern when they learned that Donovan had gone a step further than a simple search for Amber, and that he had taken a trip to another state. There was concern that he had traveled to Washington to meet with her kidnapper and to give him a chance to apologize personally, if he had one. A law enforcement official told CNN that he had been meeting with the kidnapper for three hours the day before his daughter disappeared.
But Donovan went to Washington anyway. He went to the White House. He said he talked to members of Congress. He talked to Democratic and Republican leaders, he said.
He said he spoke with President Trump, though he is unclear whether the conversations were at the White House or with the president’s aides or staff.
“I met with him before he decided to declare a national emergency and take care of this situation