Somebody Knows More Than They Are Telling in Satsuma, Florida What to Haleigh?

Update: Teenage Caretaker of missing 5-year-old Florida girl says: “I didn’t do it”
News Type: Event — Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:47 PM EST

Haleigh Cummings

Misty Croslin and Ronald Cummings
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Clint Van Zandt
Misty Croslin (17), the live-in girlfriend of Ronald Cummings (25), (the relationship is legal in Florida…) and the last person known to have custody of Cummings’ missing 5-year-old daughter Haleigh, says “I don’t care what people are saying about me, I didn’t do it.” What the definition of “it” is, however, has yet to be determined. The little Satsuma, Florida, girl allegedly disappeared on the night of 2/9-10/09 from her double-wide trailer home that sits in a rural wooded area just off of a dirt road. Croslin, whom some sources say has told conflicting stories about Haleigh’s disappearance, appears to indicate that she put Haleigh and the child’s 3-year-old brother, Ron Jr., to bed “around 8 PM” last Monday evening. It was shortly before 3:00 AM, says Croslin, when she discovered Haleigh missing. For some unknown reason the 17-year-old, whom Ronald Cummings referred to as his “dumb b**** girlfriend,” did not immediately contact the sheriff’s office, waiting instead for Ronald to return from work around 3 AM.

Missing and Murdered Florida Children

With the memories of so many missing and murdered Florida children having captured national headlines in the past few years, authorities were quick to respond with every available investigative resource. It was in 2005 that John Couey, a convicted sex offender living across the street from Jessica Lunsford, kidnapped and murdered the 9-year-old girl, initially keeping her captive in a bedroom closet for days while authorities searched the neighborhood in vain for the missing child. Many in America also fixed their attention on the reported Florida kidnapping of 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, whose mother, Casey, is now charged with her daughter’s death. For whatever the reason, Florida authorities are gaining a lot of experience in investigating the disappearance and death of missing children.

Ron Cummings indicates both he and Misty have “passed” lie detector tests concerning their knowledge of Haleigh’s disappearance, (so far unconfirmed by investigators), this while the little girl’s maternal grandmother, and many others, remain openly critical of Croslin. At least part of this criticism relates to reports that the missing child was either in bed with or sleeping in a bed in the same 10’x10′ bedroom of the house trailer in which Croslin slept just four feet away in a toddler bed. The child’s grandmother said it was “ridiculous” that Haleigh, who was frightened of the dark and would never leave the home at night on her own, could disappear under these circumstances while the victim’s father indicates that he locked the doors to his home before leaving for work.

The case concerning Misty is further complicated when you consider media and other unnamed sources that have suggested: 1) Misty may have been outside or even away from the trailer at the time the victim disappeared, and/or 2) The pink shirt Misty indicated the victim was wearing is actually in the possession of law enforcement, 3) a relative of Misty’s had recently visited, perhaps someone with a checkered criminal record, but it is up to law enforcement to separate the truth from Internet blog rumor and fiction. It is, however, evident that a 17-year-old could have a hard time caring for two young children, not as a baby sitter but as a substitute mother, and may believe she should have heard an unknown offender walking around in a type of residence (a trailer) not particularly known for being sound proof. Was Misty upset due to the loss of Haleigh, or was she upset and afraid of the reaction of Ron Cumming to Haleigh being missing? One of many questions to be answered in this case.

Ron Cummings and Crystal Sheffield, the estranged mother of both Haleigh and their younger son, Ron, Jr., have allegedly been locked in a custody battle concerning the two children. Sheffield has suggested she was victimized by legal authorities in the determination of which biological parent should have custody of the two young children, further indicating that legal notices had been sent to the wrong address, therefore precluding her from fighting for custody of her son and daughter.

Authorities are faced with at least four potential theories to explain Haleigh’s disappearance, to include:

1) She was kidnapped by some unknown child predator.

Knowing that the Cummings clan has resided in the trailer home for less than one month, it is challenging to believe that a predator was able to identify the trailer as the home of two children and was then get in and out of the home, and the common bedroom, without his presence becoming known to Croslin, and without leaving some indication of how he was able to enter the dead bolted residence.

2) She was a kidnapped due to a vendetta against the former resident of the trailer, perhaps with someone believing he was taking another person’s child as a kidnap victim.

While Phoenix, Arizona, has become the kidnap capital of America with 400 reported and perhaps another 400 unreported kidnappings in the past year, most of these are drug related crimes related to Mexican drug cartels and illegal aliens from south of the border, personal crimes such as this are not unknown to other southern states to include Florida.

3) She was the direct, targeted victim of an unknown person who had a reason to want to hurt or punish the victim’s father due to some unknown personal matter.

Like the above scenario, there are those who seek to punish or force their demands on another by taking some action against the family of their target. Ron Cummings would obviously be able to tell investigators if this could be the case.

4) She was injured and/or killed by someone within her home or visiting her home, i.e., her father, her 17-year-old female caretaker, or a person visiting the trailer and someone known to one or both of the two “adults” who resided there, with everything after her disappearance and/or death representing a cover-up.

This last scenario is, of course, what many believe to be the case with deceased Caylee Anthony, thought to have died as a result of some action by her own mother.

Missing Children = Media Circus

Missing children cases bring out the best, and sometimes the worst of society. In the case of Caylee Anthony, people would gather at the Anthony home to shout their belief that Casey Anthony had killed her own daughter and that Casey’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, were somehow covering up their daughter’s crime. The media drama surrounding the Caylee Anthony case was further complicated when Leonard Padilla, a television bounty hunter and self-described “media whore” showed up in Florida to make Casey’s bail and insert himself up to his TV cowboy hat in the case, passing himself off on tabloid TV as some type of expert in such cases. The performers in this media circus have also appeared at the Cummings home. George Anthony, fresh from an alleged suicide cry for help when overcome with the death of his granddaughter and the overwhelming negative public response to his and his wife’s role in that case, arrived to provide moral support to Ron Cummings and, perhaps, to redeem himself, hoping beyond hope to see a positive outcome in this current case, one he had not been able to gain for his granddaughter.

Meanwhile Padilla, perhaps looking to continue his 15 minutes of tabloid fame, also showed up in the rural community and allegedly offered a reward for Haleigh’s return. When is someone going to tell him to get lost and quit promoting himself at the cost of missing and murdered children? Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch, who participated in the ill-fated search for American teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba and for Caylee Anthony and other missing and not found by him people, has also showed up to participate in the search for Haleigh, and one media talk show host known for ambush interview techniques has called the overworked local sheriff over 30 times to demand a live interview. There’s a fine line, at times, between television wanting to help authorities find a victim and television personalities wanting to use one family’s tragedy to simply improve their show’s ratings, fainting concern, but ready to move on to a higher rated story in the proverbial “New York minute.”

Miracles are far and few between

While most families of a missing child hope beyond hope for a miracle like that in 2002 concerning missing Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped at age 14 and held by her demented assailant for almost a year before being rescued and returned to her family, others know the statistics that suggest after the first day the odds of a missing child being recovered alive are drastically reduced. This continues to be the case in the matter of missing 3-year-old Madeline McCann, allegedly taken almost 2 years ago from her hotel bedroom by an unknown child predator while her parents ate in a restaurant within view of the child’s hotel room in Portugal, where the family was vacationing. While dozens of alleged sightings have been unproductive and millions of people worldwide are aware of the case, Madeline’s parents still have no resolution in her disappearance.

Then there are reports that Haleigh’s father has been angry and abusive toward the victim’s biological mother and other reports indicating that investigators from the Florida Department of Children and Family Services have investigated the current Cummings home. These are some of the elements of the investigation that force investigators to continue to take a hard look at Ron Cummings and his teenage girlfriend in the disappearance of 3 foot tall, blond-haired, brown-eyed Haleigh, the child with the special birthmark on her left cheek. Haleigh is also thought to have a chromosomal condition called “Turner syndrome,” the result of a missing x chromosome, that affects development in females. Found in one out of 2,500 female births, there is no cure for this condition, the most common feature of which is short stature which becomes evident by about age 5.

Investigators, for their part, have thrown a net over at least 45 registered sex offenders in a five mile circle around the victim’s home, (this is like Haleigh being in a swimming pool full of sharks), trying to pin down the whereabouts of each offender last Monday night. These same investigators, led by newly elected Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy, have discontinued the intensive ground search for the missing girl and are refocusing on the over 1200 tips that have come into their command post. As in most cases, at least some of these tips will likely be from so-called psychics who, in my experience, have never contributed to solving such cases. The FBI will be utilizing it’s Rapid Start program to both computerize and prioritize the many tips, giving the most promising the tips investigative preference. Meanwhile, as one investigator has stated, “all the world is a suspect,” and the victim’s mother continues to plea for the return of her daughter, indicating “she ain’t done nothing wrong; please bring her back.”

Sheriff’s investigators, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials, FBI Agents, criminal profilers and others are involved in a race against the clock to find missing Haleigh Cummings and, unfortunately, it is the clock and not the good guys that are winning the race. We can only hope for a positive conclusion to this case, but again, we know the odds are against this.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Somebody Knows More Than They Are Telling in Satsuma, Florida What … […]

  2. I believe this child was abducted.Someone watched the home,knowing Ronald worked nights.I do not for one min.think Misty harmed her. Butter Bean will miss his sister this christmas.So very sad.We may never find Haliegh.My heart breaks for her,an her families.

  3. There were so many stories, in the wrong direction, but this one was no target, and still is >>>> http://thepopeimprisonssusannamaiolo.wordpress.com/ <<<


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