Officials searched a landfill looking for Haleigh, too

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Normal Officials searched a landfill looking for Haleigh, too

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:17 am

Officials searched a landfill looking for Haleigh, too

By Lise Fisher & Karen Voyles
Staff writers


Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 8:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 8:23 p.m.

The discovery of a little girl's body in a Georgia landfill, which investigators have identified as that of missing Clay County second-grader Somer Thompson, comes as the search for another missing girl, Putnam County first-grader Haleigh Cummings, enters its ninth month.

How many missing children are there in the United States?No one knows for sure. The most comprehensive snapshot may be the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children that was released in 2002 and estimated:
• 800,000 children younger than 18 go missing each year (an average of 2,000 children reported missing each day).
• 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
• 58,000 children were abducted by non-family members.
• 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping -- crimes involving someone the child does not know, or knows only slightly, who holds the child overnight, takes the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.

More information on missing children is available from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.missingkids.com.

Somer's body was discovered Wednesday in a landfill at the Chesser Island Landfill in Folkston, Ga., after investigators followed garbage trucks leaving the neighborhood where Somer was last seen Monday. And while Putnam County officials say they also pored through garbage and visited the area's landfill, their efforts turned up no sign of Haleigh.

The cases involve young girls disappearing in adjacent counties, but Putnam authorities say it's unlikely Somer's kidnapping and murder are connected to Haleigh's disappearance.

"The only similarity was that these were two missing girls," Putnam County Sheriff's Lt. Johnny Greenwood said. "There's really no comparison between these cases -- the scenarios are totally different. One girl (Haleigh) was at home in her bed before she disappeared, and one (Somer) was walking home from school."

Haleigh was 5 years old when she was last seen at her father's rented mobile home in Satsuma. Initial reports said the girl was at the home with her younger brother and her father's girlfriend, Misty Croslin, whom he later married before recently divorcing.

While the search for Somer has ended, the search for Haleigh remains a daily assignment for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent assigned full time to the case and the six-member major crimes unit of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

"We still hope we can bring her home safe, but right now we just want to bring her home," Greenwood said.

Croslin told officers Haleigh went to bed at about 8 p.m. and that when Croslin woke up at about 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom, she noticed Haleigh was missing. The back screen door had been propped open with a cinder block, Croslin said. There were no signs of forced entry.

Early in the case, officers interviewed sex offenders living in the area to eliminate any as possible suspects. They have since searched repeatedly for Haleigh in the woods and water, including the St. Johns River and a pond off State Road 19.

Greenwood said that like Clay County investigators, officers in Putnam County organized a search of garbage picked up from the area where Haleigh was last seen and a landfill near the Clay County line used for household garbage.

The garbage, collected from south Putnam County, where the child's Satsuma home was located, was gathered as normal two days after the girl disappeared. But it then was brought to a specific area where volunteers from emergency and fire services sifted through it.

The searches are considered part of the standard protocol in hunting for a missing child such as Haleigh, Greenwood said.

Statistics compiled by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provide both hopeful and discouraging data relative to Haleigh's case.

For example, the center has determined that more children now are being returned safely to their homes than at any other time in U.S. history, with the recovery rate rising from 62 percent in 1990 to 96 percent in 2008.

However, the center's staff also points to a study that showed while murders of abducted children are rare, about 100 incidents happen in the U.S. annually, and 76.2 percent of the abducted children who are killed are dead within three hours of being taken.

A recent study often referred to by the center also shows that children are 3.5 times more likely to be abducted by a family member than by a non-family member.

In recent months, the focus of the investigation into Haleigh's disappearance has shifted from a possible stranger abduction to questioning people related to or acquainted with Haleigh. Investigators have said the girl's biological parents are not suspects.

Some of those closest to Haleigh's case have had widely publicized legal issues in recent months.

Ronald Cummings was in and out of jail during the summer on an unrelated charge of burglary with assault or battery after a fight involving his ex-wife's relatives. Croslin's brother and mother were arrested last month in cases the Sheriff's Office also said were not related to Haleigh's disappearance. Tommy Croslin is accused of taking a former neighbor's gun, while Lisa Croslin is accused of forging a check that belonged to the same neighbor.

"We can't get wrapped up in the drama surrounding these families -- we try to keep our investigators from getting involved in these unrelated incidents," Greenwood said. Instead, investigators have begun taking a second look at everything in the case -- double-checking to make certain nothing has been overlooked.

"We are still getting a few tips, but not many," Greenwood said. "The main thing we are getting as far as tips now are people's opinions, and there is not really much you can do with someone's opinions."

Greenwood said he also is getting what investigators refer to as psychic tips, tips that may begin with the phrase "I had a dream that Haleigh is ..." and then give a location.

For Clay County officers, their work has turned to solving Somer's death. Investigators in Putnam County still don't know how the case of Haleigh's disappearance will turn out.

"They know they're working the death of the little girl," Greenwood said. "We know we have a crime one way or another. But we don't know if it is a homicide or a kidnapping/abduction. Once a body is obtained, they can start working on making a case to who killed Somer. We don't have that."

Greenwood said investigators still believe what they believed the day Haleigh was reported missing.

"There are people out there -- at least one person out there -- who knows what has happened to her," Greenwood said. "Now it's a matter of someone slipping up -- or wanting to say what happened -- that will help solve this case."

The Sheriff's Office has a new e-mail address for people to forward tips to at haleigh@putnamsheriff.org, Greenwood said. The address will help investigators consolidate tips, which sometimes end up being forwarded to a variety of people at the agency, including Greenwood. Callers still can phone 1-888-277-8477.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091022/ARTICLES/910229903/-1/MAGAZINE?Title=Officials-searched-a-landfill-looking-for-Haleigh-too

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Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
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Normal Re: Officials searched a landfill looking for Haleigh, too

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:19 am

Can PCSO say they are CYA'ing??? They have messed up the Haleigh case so badly.

Cobra said the trash at the trailer was not picked up for 5 days. Don't know what to believe or think anymore, but I will say this..I think PCSO look like idiots. MOO!

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
Wrapitup
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Join date : 2009-05-28

https://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

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