2 Weeks Into Hunt For Haleigh, Police Have Nothing To Report
Putnam Deputies Ban Fox News' Geraldo Rivera From Satsuma Scene
PALATKA, Fla. – One of the rituals that has defined life in Putnam County since 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings disappeared Feb. 10 continues, but another has ended.
For 13 nights, Haleigh's family and friends hold candlelight vigils praying for her return. Some evenings, the whole family has come together. Sunday, like many other nights, Haleigh's mother and father held separate observances.
But another ritual -- a daily new briefing by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office -- didn't happen Sunday, and officials said no briefing is planned for Monday.
Dozens of county detectives, along with agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI, continue working their way through 1,600 tips that have come in about Haleigh's disappearance. Deputies are seen coming and going from the Satsuma neighborhood where Haleigh disappeared.
While the official ground searches were suspended, volunteers on horseback spent the weekend looking for the missing kindergartner around the Satsuma home where Haleigh lived with her father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend, Misty Croslin.
The family is trying to keep the focus on the search and the investigation and not on the rumors and accusations involving both sides of the family.
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 when she was pregnant with Haleigh, used illegal drugs and told someone he 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, according to the Putnam County incident report.
While neither 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 sides 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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