Tip Leads Detectives To St. Johns Co. In Search For Haleigh
Search For Missing 5-Year-Old Continues
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – A tip about a possible Haleigh Cummings sighting led investigators to St. Augustine on Tuesday -- day 15 in the search for the missing 5-year-old girl.
For more than two weeks, detectives have been pouring over the hundreds of leads they've received about Haleigh's disappearance.
On Tuesday morning, officers searched an area in St. Augustine near some railroad tracks around state Road 16 and U.S. Highway 1 after someone called to say he or she saw a man walking with a girl who fit Haleigh's description.
Police eventually located a man in the area who was walking his daughter to school. Still, there was no sign of Haleigh.
Other tips of possible sightings of the missing girl have led investigators on searches as far as Tennessee, where officers searched after receiving a lead that Haleigh was seen getting into a vehicle outside a restaurant. However, like many others, that turned out to be a false lead.
Nonetheless, the responses in both cases show how quickly authorities have been moving when they receive tips about Haleigh.
"They've all been checked, and we've been notified of them. So far, they've all been false sightings, but by all means if people see something they think might be it, they should call and it will be checked wherever they are by the local authorities. You never know when the right one is going to come in," said Capt. Dick Schauland of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
"Nobody knows what that one is either, you know? They have to look at everything that comes in," said Haleigh's great-grandmother, Annett Sykes.
Haleigh's family said it believes police have been doing their best to find the missing 5-year-old, and they realize a simple tip from the public could be the key.
Another thing the family discussed on Tuesday was information released by Haleigh's mother, Crystal Sheffield, saying the girl's younger brother said he saw a man in black take his sister.
"All he said was, 'I want to find my sissy.' He said something about somebody in black took her. I don?t know if it's true," Sheffield said.
"I don?t know nothing about that. I think that those questions are questions that you should discuss with detectives," said Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings.
Cummings' mother said she feels the same way, and she also said Sheffield's comment will not help police and could hurt her other grandchild.
"Obviously, everybody talked to Junior when this happened. Police and law enforcement are doing their job. For somebody to go out and say that, to me you might have endangered the life of another one of my grandchildren," said Haleigh's grandmother, Teresa Neves.
Police said they would not comment on what was discussed with Haleigh's brother. However, they ask the public to continue to call in any tips because their main focus is finding Haleigh.
Haleigh is described as having blond hair and brown eyes, is 3 feet tall and weighs 39 pounds. She was last seen in the Hermit's Cove area of Satsuma on Feb. 9.
The reward for information regarding Haleigh's whereabouts and/or the conviction of the perpetrator of any crimes stands at $25,500.
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.
Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.