Published January 14, 2015
As the search for Haleigh Cummings enters its eighth day, authorities are following up on a tip disputing the story of the 17-year-old girlfriend in the case, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.
Investigators on Wednesday told the station that they're looking into a report that Misty Croslin, the girlfriend of Haleigh's father Ronald Cummings, was not home when the girl disappeared last Tuesday.
The tip is one of 1,200 leads pouring in. The sheriff's office dispatch center is overloaded, and callers are now being referred to Crime Stoppers, Capt. Dick Schauland said in a Wednesday news conference, adding that investigators are 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," Capt. Schauland said.
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.
Capt. Steve Rose of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office 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."
Schauland said that investigators are following up on the leads as well as they're able and speaking with the missing girl's family "as warranted."
Ronald 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 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.
Rose 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.