5 years since Haleigh's disappearance

Family dedicates plaque to girl at Browning Pierce Elementary School

Author: Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 10 2014 06:33:53 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 10 2014 07:43:43 PM EST
Haleigh Cummings Progression
SATSUMA, Fla. -

Monday marks five years since 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings disappeared in Putnam County.

On this difficult day, her family held a ceremony at her school. The community gathered at Browning Pierce Elementary School to dedicate a plaque to Haleigh that stands next to a tree planted in her memory.

"I believe that Haleigh is going to come home and that's going to be our miracle," said Teresa Neves, Haleigh's grandmother. "She should be here at this school playing with these kids and doing things that other kids do. It's just so hard not knowing where she is or what she's doing."

Haleigh was last seen by her father's girlfriend, Misty Croslin, who was watching her while he was at work. The two married after Haleigh disappeared.

Despite many searches and hours spent on this investigation, Haleigh was never found.

"You never imagine that it would happen to you," said Annette Sykes, Haleigh's great grandmother. "It always happens to the other person, you know. But we just never had a clue that it would go on like this."

Alyssa Hall was one of Haleigh's best friends at the time of her disappearance. She said the two would sit together every day at school. The pain of losing her is still fresh in her memory.

"Almost every day, whenever my mom hears Haleigh's name, she cries like me. It's very, very hard," Hall said. "If I could see her one more time, I'd tell her everyone has missed her, everyone loves her. It'd be one of the happiest days."

Three years ago, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office released a statement saying, "The ongoing investigation has minimized the likelihood that Haleigh's disappearance is the work of a stranger." Investigators said those who know what happened still won't tell investigators.

TIMELINE: Investigation of Haleigh Cummings investigation

The Cummings family spoke with Channel 4 during last year's anniversary and said they want answers and are not giving up.

Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings, and his former wife, Croslin, are currently in prison on drug convictions.

If you have any information about this case, call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 386-329-0800.