EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Matt Monie Tells His Side of Shreveport Kidnapping Story
Six-year-old Matthew Monie was reported missing, then returned to Shreveport, a couple of weeks ago and now back with his biological father. His father, Matt Monie, says the story everyone's heard so far wasn't the whole story.
I talked with him in an exclusive interview.
Angela: Tell me what happened. How did this whole thing get started?
Matt: While, I was deployed [to Cuba with the U.S. Army], my wife's ex-husband decided to try to file for custody of my son. And there's a federal law, the Soldiers Relief Act, that would prevent that from taking place. So I came back into town, and went and picked my son up, because I did have actually legal custody. Ended up spending a couple of nights in jail over that.
Once the detective finally got involved, he went to the courthouse and confirmed that I did have legal custody. The detective got me out of jail and helped me get my son back.
Angela: When did you actually get back into town? Was it the same day Matthew was reported missing?
Matt: No, I actually had been going back and forth to the courthouse. That's how I figured out that Mr. (Shane) Rogers did not actually have legal custody of my son. In fact, this morning I found some messages from him from while I had Matthew, where he called me and basically threatened me, saying, "Bring back my son before I find you." And Matthew is NOT his son, he is MY son.
Angela: How did Mr. Rogers end up being named the stepdad in all this? Because you and your wife are still married, right?
Matt: That's correct.
Angela: How does he get named the stepdad and thinks he has legal custody of a child who doesn't belong to him?
Matt: He is the father of Matthew's half-brother and half-sister.
Angela: Your wife's ex-husband.
Matt: Yes. Because of some medical issues, she had given him temporary custody. It was supposed to expire June 1st. When she tried to get our son on June 1st, he said no, he has custody, and she can't have him.
Angela: So your wife's going through some medical trouble?
Matt: Yes, she has seizures. She needed help, and gave him temporary custody for 90 days. I don't even think it was a full 90 days. And she was supposed to get him back, and he refused to give him back. And it turns out that [Rogers] filed for custody for my son two months before he filed for custody for his own children.
Angela: You being in the military, is this going to hurt your record at all, having spent time in jail? Or has that all been wiped clean now?
Matt: It is in the process of being wiped clean. But since it WILL be wiped clean, it won't hurt me.
Angela: The big question now is...how is young Matthew doing? You're getting him situated in a new school, right?
Matt: He will be in school tomorrow morning. He's really happy about that.
Angela: How's he coping with all this? Was he scared at all during all this stuff?
Matt: I don't know how he was over there, but once he was with me, he was very much happy. He says that Mr. Rogers was mean, and that Hunter is mean, which is his brother, and he's just happy that he's not going over there.
Angela: Do you have legal custody of Matthew now?
Matt: It will be settled completely November 3rd when we go back to court.
Angela: What's the situation with your wife? How's she handling all this?
Matt: She's not doing too well with it because as of right now, she can't have contact with our son.
Angela: Were you aware that any of this with Mr. Rogers was going on when you took Matthew to Texas?
Matt: Nah, I wasn't quite aware of the whole situation. What I was told is that my son was being hit with paint sticks over there, was being abused over there. And acting as a parent with legal rights, I took my son. For his safety.
Angela: When did you find out that the police were looking for you...and him?
Matt: I didn't know about it until they showed up at the door.
Angela: So at that point, you were in east Texas. Did you have friends there, or family there?
Matt: Some of my wife's friends.
Angela: He was never in any danger when he was with you?
Angela: He's doing well, getting situated in a new school. Do you think everything's going to be alright with him?
Matt: Oh, yeah. I grew up in foster care and went through a lot worse than this most of my life.
Angela: Do you have anything to say to Mr. Rogers?
Matt: Not really. I tell ya, if I hadn't found that message this morning, if I had found one earlier, I wouldn't have even been willing to speak to him in the detective's office. Because that really hurts me.
Angela: Do you think you're going to have anymore trouble out of him?
Angela: Is she (your wife) having any issues with him?
Matt: Well, he's threatened both of our lives, yeah.
Angela: What about any abuse charges against him? Are you going to pursue anything like that?
Matt: I'm not sure what's going to go on with that, but we will be working on what can be done.
Angela: So still some court appearances in your future.
Matt: Oh, most likely.