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 Putnam Sheriff’s Office Press Release 8-19-09

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Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida

PostSubject: Putnam Sheriff’s Office Press Release 8-19-09   Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:45 pm

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Press Release August 19, 2009

Haleigh Cummings’ 6th Birthday Observed
2009-8-17 by: Lt. Johnny Greenwood
Today marks Haleigh Cummings’ sixth birthday, and a little over six months into the investigation of her disappearance. Sheriff Hardy’s interest in the public’s desire to bring Haleigh home, have led him to release the following update on the investigation.

Investigators from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and investigators from agencies throughout Florida have invested thousands of man-hours into the investigation thus far.

Here are some of the facts:

We have received in excess of 4,000 leads, all of which have been followed up.

We have conducted 138 formal interviews and several hundred informal interviews with potential witnesses. DNA samples were collected from many of those interviewed and compared to evidence collected in the case.

FDLE processed the crime scene. Many items of potential evidentiary value were collected and sent to

FDLE’s crime lab for analysis (ie. for fingerprints and DNA). All of evidence has been examined and/or processed, but none of it has identified any suspect or additional leads as to who the suspect(s) may be.
We have searched thousands of acres, including all property west of Highway 17 near the Cummings residence.

We have had numerous underwater recovery and search teams search all of the water near the area of the disappearance.

Aviation assets have conducted several airborne searches.

K9 assets have searched the area on several occasions.

Volunteer civilian searchers on foot and horseback searched the wooded areas near the residence.

At this point, the evidence and investigatory effort has minimized the likelihood that Haleigh’s disappearance is the work of a stranger. There is no specific individual whom investigators have identified as a person of interest. The biological parents, Ronald Cummings and Crystal Sheffield, are not considered to be suspects in the case. Investigators believe that Misty Croslin-Cummings continues to hold important answers in the case. She has failed to provide any sort of detailed accounting of the hours during the late evening and early morning of Haleigh’s disappearance. Furthermore, physical evidence at the scene contradicts Misty’s sketchy account of her evening activities. Any citizen with direct knowledge of Misty’s activities during that evening or into the early morning is encouraged to report that information to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Hardy realizes the importance of keeping the public involved in this case, and appreciates all of the leads that have been provided. Every lead that is provided is acted on by investigators. Sheriff Hardy cautions that because there are many who claim to be valid media outlets, that citizens should be careful not to fall into the trap of believing, or by accident spreading, the untrue and unreliable claims and assumptions of many bloggers who claim to be knowledgeable in the case. He also urges anyone that is assisting, or who wants to assist, to be cautious to stay within the bounds of their authority as they pursue their activities.

Sheriff Hardy wants to assure the public, but mainly Haleigh’s family, that we will continue to aggressively pursue this case and that we welcome the assistance of all Law Enforcement agencies or any other expert, including air, water, and ground searchers, that can assist in bringing Haleigh home.

Finally we received official word from the authorities pertaining to the status of this case. The key takeaways I find from this press release are as follows; (my thoughts & opinions on each point are in italics following each point)

Neither of Haleigh’s biological parents are considered suspects in her disappearance. Such a relief to know that the authorities don’t think that the two people who are supposed to love this child more than anyone else are responsible for the current sad state of affairs.
The authorities do not believe this was a stranger abduction. This clarifies and debunks the oft shared theory that a sex offender or random stranger is responsible for Haleigh’s disappearance. It was somebody close to Haleigh.
Misty Croslin-Cummings continues to be the key to learning what happened to Haleigh. Greenwood stopped short of calling Misty a suspect, but in my opinion, he made it clear that at the very least she is a person of interest who is witholding information of interest. Not a surprise, but nice to see that the PCSO recognizes stonewalling.
Physical evidence at the home supports the theory that Misty is not being honest with regard to her actions or activities that evening. I have heard rumors since shortly after Haleigh’s disappearance that Misty was not being honest and that physical evidence proved that. I am pleased this has been officially confirmed.
The PCSO implores anyone with information about Misty’s activities or whereabouts the evening/early morning hours of February 9/10 to please come forward. I wish Greenwood had offered some kind of immunity for prosecution pertaining to the activities of anyone who can shed light on where Misty was and what she was doing that night.
The PCSO cautions the public about believing internet bloggers posing as reporters. This has been an ongoing problem since the beginning. Many people claim to have information and have disseminated rumors as truth. Not only forum members, but also moderators, bloggers, and people who comment below articles on various news websites. I have never claimed to be a reporter or media professional. This blog clearly states that I am simply sharing my opinions and observations on this case. I urge everyone not to believe anything you read online that is authored by an internet “handle” and instead focus on real reporters who are willing to share their names, credentials and valid associations with reputable media outlets. If some random internet person claims to have spoken to law enforcement yet no official statement has been made, you can be fairly certain that the information being shared is neither true nor accurate.


Caylee Marie Anthony
8-9-05 to 12-11-08

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