Dana Hertneky, News 9

DUNCAN, Oklahoma -- An ex-marine and Oklahoma militia man sparks a nationwide manhunt. Law enforcement leaders say they're afraid he is heavily armed and will do something drastic.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney says Charles Dyer didn't show up for court Monday morning on charges he raped a 7-year-old family member.

But Dyer's family says he is a constitutional patriot that's been hounded by the government and is now left with few options.

Online, Charles Dyer is known as July 4 Patriot. Thousands view his videos and anti-government messages.

Sheriff McKinney says in the past, Dyer and his followers have threatened him and other law enforcement, and it's that history that has him concerned.

"Desperate people do desperate things," Sheriff McKinney said.

Dyer's home burned to the ground on Friday.  An acquaintance of Dyer has been arrested for arson. The sheriff says Dyer's firearms were taken from the property.

"We're sure he's going to be armed," said Sheriff McKinney. "There's no doubt about that,"

"I do not believe he's dangerous until he's shoved into a corner," Dyer's sister Amy Dark said.

Dyer's family says he is innocent. They gave News 9 a three page e-mail Dyer sent to his attorney just after Midnight Monday.

Dyer writes: "At every turn my family and I have been threatened and bullied by both the state and federal governments."

"I never had any intention of harming another human life and will still do all that I can to keep from it, but I also feel I have a god given right to protect myself and my family."

Dyer's family, however, says they just want what the sheriff does.

"I want it to end peacefully," Sheriff McKinney said.

Dyer ends his e-mail by telling his family if they do not hear from him within 90 days, he is dead and he failed them.

"If you see this Charlie, you need to come home," said Dark tearfully. "We want you to come home and finish the case."

If you know anything about Charles Dyer's, whereabouts call police immediately.