Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

MISSING: 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings

Vanished

Haleigh Cummings
Haleigh Cummings

SATSUMA, Fla. — The only things the police in this small north Florida community are sure of regarding Haleigh Cummings's disappearance is that the 5-year-old has been missing for months and no one can find the precocious blond-haired, brown-eyed little girl.

Misty Croslin, 17, was the last person known to have seen Haleigh, but her story keeps shifting, making it hard for investigators to pin down the exact time and under what circumstances Haleigh disappeared.

Misty Croslin (center)
Misty Croslin (center)

At the time Haleigh went missing, Croslin was the live-in girlfriend of Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings. The two have since married. Croslin says she put Haleigh to bed about 8:00 p.m. February 9, on a small mattress lying on the floor of the master bedroom in the couple's doublewide trailer. Haleigh's bed was barely four feet from Cummings and Croslin's bed.

Also sharing the trailer's master bedroom was Haleigh's 4-year-old brother, Ronald Jr.

Croslin says she went to sleep around 10:00 p.m. after she washed clothes and cleaned Haleigh's blanket. The washer and dryer were next to the trailer's back door, which Croslin has repeatedly said was locked.

Ronald Cummings
Ronald Cummings

Ronald Cummings was working the night shift as a crane operator for a bridge construction company. He says he checks the back door every afternoon before he goes to work to make sure it's locked. He describes the door as having a knob latch and a deadbolt and as being hard to open, even for an adult. There's no way a child could open it, Cummings says.

But someone opened it.

 

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