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Daughters of "Doomsday Prepper" Talk to 10 News | News

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Daughters of "Doomsday Prepper" Talk to 10 News

Tampa, Florida -- The daughters of the man known as the "Doomsday Prepper," in an exclusive interview with 10 News, say their father is not the public danger authorities might think.

"We knew he wasn't going to hurt anyone. We knew he wouldn't put anyone else in jeopardy," says Amy Cason, one of Martin Winters' daughter.

Winters' daughters want people to understand there's a different, loving side to their dad. "Being a great man, very loving, caring, very family oriented. (He's) not what they're making him out to be at all," says daughter Melinda Winters.

Winters of Valrico is behind bars at the Pinellas County Jail, where federal inmates are held. Wednesday night, family and friends came together to say a prayer for Winters at a candlelight vigil in Valrico.

"I want my daddy to feel comfort right now," says Cason.

Their 55-year-old father is now facing federal weapons and explosives charges.

Winters held without bond

"He's not dangerous at all," says Tracie Winters, who was with her father Wednesday morning as he surrendered at the FBI office. He took off Monday as agents tried to arrest him. Tracie says her dad didn't say where he'd been hiding out and why he didn't come forward sooner. "I didn't have time to talk to him. I got enough time to give him a hug before they put him in handcuffs," Tracie Winters says.


His family is just thankful he's alive. "I was afraid that it would've been a different outcome, because they were thinking and assuming and accusing he was armed and dangerous," Cason says. "Even though it hurts me seeing him like that today, I am also grateful that I can see him."

Winters' daughters sobbed in the courtroom, when Judge Thomas Wilson said that even though he surrendered, he could not return home, calling Winters "a danger to the community."

Winters faces an arrest warrant charging him with illegally obtaining weapons, building and distributing small explosive devices.

Winters' family feels he's just misunderstood. "He is just preparing if days were to come where there was no grocery store, and you had to have food, and you couldn't go get it. It's not like he's preparing to hurt anyone ever," says Tracie Winters. "He has six grandkids. They wouldn't be allowed in the house if he had boobytraps."

Winters' daughters wouldn't talk specifics about the allegations against their father but say they are standing behind their dad. "We love our daddy," says Cason.

"We love him very much," says daughter Melinda Winters.

Winters is scheduled to be back in court on July 17.



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