How hard will it be to find Jessica Tata?

March 15, 2011 5:09:34 PM PDT
It was a horrifying situation Houstonians cannot forget -- four children killed and two others still recovering from serious burns after a fire broke out at their daycare. Investigators say Jessica Tata, the daycare operator, left them alone, then fled to Nigeria before she could be arrested.

Knowing it takes more than phone calls to find a wanted fugitive in Nigeria, we traveled there ourselves, becoming the first to even inform the local Nigerian authorities that Tata may in their midst.

Life moves forward in this country without any concern, notice or even awareness of Tata. To the 160 million Nigerians, she is just one more unknown face.

This area here is not unlike any other small village outside a major city. You have throngs of people, you have shops that seem to go on endlessly, and you have thousands of people everywhere, and the difficulty of finding just one person is simply overwhelming.

John Barnett is a Houstonian now working in Nigeria.

"Some of the places are impenetrable and you know, you've got plenty of villages in there," Barnett said.

"So if someone really wants to hide, there's no problem with them trying to hide?" we asked him.

"There's absolutely no problem with them hiding," Barnett replied.

Tata's location, through our own investigation, has been narrowed to a very small neighborhood. But for U.S. authorities entering the country, they have their work cut out for them.

"So, you're going to have a big problem trying to locate her. I'd almost tell you, go and try to find Amelia Earhart," Barnett said.

By the way, Amelia Earheart was never found.