Sexual Predator Arrested Near Home of Missing Florida Girl

A sexual predator was arrested Thursday near the home of a missing Florida girl, but on charges that are unrelated to the disappearance of the child, police said.

Putnam County Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Hardy said the arrest of Timothy R. Loucakis doesn't appear to be related to the case of Haleigh Cummings, 5.

"Word is getting out that we have a sexual predator in custody, and we do, but we have no reason to link it to Haleigh," Hardy said.

But he also told reporters that "we're not excluding anybody" as a suspect in the child's mysterious disappearance.

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Loucakis was convicted of "promoting a sexual performance by a child" in May of 2001 and is currently listed as a sexual predator, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site.

"What we're concerned about was he wasn't where he was supposed to be," Hardy said, adding that Loucakis was one of the very first people police interviewed.

Also Thursday, police announced rewards of $16,000 for clues leading to the missing girl.

In a news conference Wednesday, Putnam County Sheriff's Office Capt. Dick Schauland said investigators are working through about 1,200 tips.

He also said they are again questioning the child's father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend Misty Croslin.

Haleigh vanished nine days ago from her father's mobile home, just outside the community of Satsuma.

Authorities have been investigating a tip that casts doubt on a story told by Croslin, 17, that she was home when she discovered the child missing.

The source said the father's teenaged girlfriend actually wasn't in the trailer when Haleigh vanished last Tuesday.

Investigators on Wednesday told they're looking into the report.

"We're not prepared to release information about what we’re following up on because we’re concerned about the safety of this child," Schauland said Wednesday.

They're also looking at inconsistencies in descriptions of what the child was last seen wearing.

Croslin told them Haleigh had a pink shirt on the night she vanished, but police said this week they have that item of clothing in their possession.

She has also reportedly 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 the night the little girl disappeared.

Cummings, 24, said Haleigh had gotten up to use the bathroom and when she didn't return, Croslin went to look for her and noticed the back door of the trailer was open. Cummings said he'd just come home from work.

Police haven't narrowed down a list of suspects in the case. Detectives say they've interviewed all 44 sex offenders in the vicinity.

Cummings and Croslin have both taken lie detector tests. They told FOX News last week that they "passed" the polygraphs. Police have neither confirmed nor denied what the results were and say that several of those questioned in the case have taken lie detector tests.

The family has been at the center of investigations done by the state child welfare agency, but details of those cases haven't been disclosed because of confidentiality laws.

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