Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

MISSING: 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings

Enemies Closer

Two days after Haleigh was reported missing, sheriff's spokesman Major Gary Bowling told reporters at a press conference: "We are treating this like an abduction. There is no longer any reason to believe that the child simply wandered outside, so we are treating this absolutely like an abduction."

Haleigh Cummings
Haleigh Cummings

On March 12, 2009, four weeks after Haleigh disappeared, Ronald Cummings and Misty Croslin were married in Satsuma before jetting off together to New York for an appearance on NBC's Today Show.

William "Cobra" Staubs says he talked to Ronald shortly after the couple's wedding. He claims to have asked Ronald why he married Misty, who was still only 17, when she had yet to give a coherent explanation about his daughter's disappearance, and had admitted to spending a weekend of partying, sex, and drugs with another man immediately before Haleigh disappeared.

According to Cobra Staubs, Ronald said he married her because you keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Ronald Cummings, according to Staubs, feared that if he didn't marry Misty he would never find out the truth about what happened to his daughter.

Ron Jr. (left), Haleigh Cummings (center) and Ronald Cummings Senior
Ron Jr. (left), Haleigh Cummings (center)
and Ronald Cummings Senior

Another possibility is that Ronald or Misty, or both, have a misunderstanding of the legal principle of spousal privilege. Perhaps they think that a person can't testify against his or her spouse even if that person wants to testify, when in fact the privilege only protects a person from being compelled to testify against his or her spouse.

For her part, Misty Croslin Cummings maintains that she has been telling the truth about Haleigh's disappearance all along.

"I know I didn't do anything to that little girl," she said during a television interview. "I would never hurt her."

Haleigh Ann Marie Cummings remains missing.

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