1,600 Leads, Family Distractions In Haleigh Case
Putnam Deputies Issue Warning To Fox News' Geraldo Rivera
PALATKA, Fla. – For the first time since 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings disappeared nearly two weeks ago, there was no official update on the investigation, although deputies were visible in the neighborhood as they continued whittling through more than 1,600 leads received.
While the official ground searches were suspended, volunteers spent the weekend looking for the missing kindergartner on horseback around the Satsuma home where Haleigh lived with her father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend, Misty Croslin.
For 13 days, both Cummings and Haleigh's mother, Crystal Sheffield, have pleaded for information or for whoever took the girl to bring her home. Each night, the families have help prayer vigils -- sometimes together and sometimes separately.
Stories and rumors about Croslin's cousin in Tennessee -- who left Satsuma hours before Haleigh disappeared -- and Ronald Cummings' private life had fueled a growing tension among family members.
On Saturday evening, that tension boiled over during an interview between Cummings and Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera.
When the controversial journalist brought up allegations of abuse, Cummings said he "never, ever have I ever hit my child."
"Me and my child have an agreement. Daddy, daughter. She has been spanked on her behind the way DCF (Florida Department of Children and Families) says that you can take care of disciplining your children," Cummings said in the Fox interview.
When Rivera continued pressing Cummings with allegations he hit Sheffield, used illegal drugs and was "75 percent sure" he knew know took Haleigh, the property owners told Rivera to leave and Putnam County deputies were called.
Rivera was issued a warning that if he would be charged with trespassing if he returned.
While neighter of Haleigh's parents would speak to the media after the incident, Haleigh's maternal grandmother wasn't surprised at the confrontation between the family and Rivera.
"I knew it was going to fester and explode," Marie Griffis told Channel 4 on Sunday.
Griffis then turned the focus to where both side of the family want it to be: "Whoever has Haleigh, just bring her home."
Anyone with information about Haleigh's disappearance should call 888-277-TIPS or the FDLE's Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 888-FL-MISSING.
The reward for information regarding Haleigh's whereabouts and/or the conviction of the perpetrator of any crimes involving stands at $20,000.
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