Police Have 'New Leads' in Disappearance of Missing Florida Girl Haleigh Cummings
Police said they have several new leads in the disappearance of a 5-year-old Florida girl after interviewing people they had missed during earlier sweeps of her neighborhood.
Capt. Steve Rose, of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, declined to describe the information Tuesday in the case of Haleigh Cummings.
"We were able to come up with several good leads that we are following up on today," Rose told reporters. "At this time we cannot discuss the nature of those leads."
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The news comes after an announcement earlier this week that authorities were scaling back their hunt for Haleigh, who vanished in the middle of the night from her trailer home last week.
Rose said police did a second neighborhood canvass Monday evening and got more information from people they hadn't previously talked to. They also set up a vehicle checkpoint.
"It's possible those are people we missed the first time — new people, new information," Rose said. "We’re still looking at everybody as a suspect at this time."
Rose reversed the department's weekend remarks that police were pulling away from the search for the child, which has involved several tips and about 250 volunteers — including those from Texas EquuSearch.
Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Ryan told The Gainesville Sun that police would comb through two more small patches of land Monday at the end of their ground search. The investigation, now a week old, is no longer focusing on an inspection of the surrounding area.
"This is frustrating," Ryan said in a Sunday news conference. "This is not 'CSI.' We can't wrap this up in an hour."
Haleigh was discovered missing from her home before dawn last Tuesday by her father's girlfriend, 17-year-old Misty Croslin.
The father, Ronald Cummings, said Haleigh had gotten up to use the bathroom, and when she didn't return, Croslin went to look for her and noticed that the back door of the mobile home they shared was open. Cummings said he'd just come home from work when Haleigh disappeared.
Police haven't narrowed down a list of suspects in the case, and they have received more than 350 leads.
"All the sex offenders [in the area] have been interviewed and their residences have been searched," Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy said earlier. "They're cleared as far as us contacting them and speaking to them."
Cummings and Croslin told FOX News' Greta Van Susteren last week that they both had submitted to polygraphs and "passed" the tests.
Sheriff's officials would not release the results. Rose said several of those questioned have taken lie detector tests.
Croslin has told different stories to police and the media about the timing of her discovery that Haleigh was gone and where she and the child were in the mobile home the night the little girl vanished.
Rose said Tuesday that police are focusing on the timeline Croslin has given them in the case.
"We're still working on the timeline, but we're not going to divulge (specifics) at this time," he said. "We feel pretty confident about when the girlfriend last saw Haleigh. That’s the timeline we’re focusing on."
He wouldn't comment on what authorities have learned about the sequence of events before and after the child was discovered missing.
Police had never been called to the home in the past, but there have been investigations by a social services agency involving Cummings, Croslin and Haleigh and her 4-year-old brother Junior, according to Rose. He hasn't revealed the nature of those cases.
The Florida Department of Children and Families confirmed that the agency "was involved with the family," but wouldn't disclose details, citing confidentiality laws.
In addition to Croslin and Cummings, the child's mother, Crystal Sheffield, also has been questioned in the case.
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