Father: 'Please Have A Heart, Let My Daughter Come Home'
Family Releases Video To Help Identify Missing Girl
SATSUMA, Fla. – As the search for his daughter dragged on into a fourth week, Ronald Cummings said he has been pulling closer to his family as they hold onto hope.
Haleigh's father spoke out publicly Wednesday night for the first time in nearly a week. While the disappearance of the little girl has been unbelievably difficult for her entire family, it has been especially hard on her father, who said each passing day gets worse.
Cummings said dealing with the disappearance of Haleigh is too much to bear.
"I've been spending all of my time with my son and the people who care most about me," Cummings said.
He said he finds comfort in being with loved ones, especially those from his church.
On Wednesday, he said he was working on finding a new place to call home because the home where he lived with Haleigh is filled with too many happy memories.
"I have to find somewhere else to live. I don?t want to go back down there. I'm going to send someone from my family or pay somebody -- something is going to happen and they're going to move the stuff from there. I can't do it," Cummings said.
He also said he can't stand not knowing what happened to his 5-year-old daughter. The pain, he said, doesn't compare to anything else. All he wants is for Haleigh to come home.
"If I could say anything to the perpetrator or perpetrators -- please have a heart and let my daughter come home to her family. We do very much love her and miss her," Cummings said. "Baby, I love you and you'll always be with me. I pray for you every night and I believe you'll come home to me."
Investigators Say Haleigh's Case Not 'Cold'
Twenty-three days after the disappearance of Haleigh, Putnam County authorities assured the child's family the case is not cold.
"It's not a dead case or a cold case. There are all kinds of leads still coming in, and there's all kinds of information to follow up on. It will not be a cold case as long as there's investigative evidence to be followed," said Capt. Dick Schauland of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
He said the case has generated more than 2,300 tips.
"The piece of info that's going to come and lead us to her we haven't found it. That's all there is to it," Schauland said.
He said no one is considered a suspect or a person of interest in the case because "We don't know what the crime is. All we know is that Haleigh is missing. Let me assure you that no one is out of the mix."
On Wednesday, anyone who had been inside the Cummings' home was asked to give a DNA sample. Police called it a routine part of their investigation.
Also on Wednesday, the parents of Misty Croslin, the last person to see Haleigh before the child was reported missing, told Channel 4 they are still suspicious about a cousin in Tennessee who had been in Satsuma around the time Haleigh went missing.
When police were asked about those concerns they said again that no one is a suspect and no one has been ruled out.
Missing Girl's Mom Asked To Move Campsite
As the search for Haleigh Cummings entered its fourth week on Tuesday, her mother has been asked to move the tented compound where her family has lived while waiting for any news about the girl.
For 23 days, Crystal Sheffield's family has camped out along the road leading to the mobile home where the 5-year-old disappeared in the middle of the night. They are committed to being there so she can embrace Haleigh the moment police drive up with her daughter.
"I got really upset -- I cried -- because I just want to be close," Sheffield said Wednesday morning.
Her family is hoping to relocate her tent compound about one-quarter mile up the road where the group Texas Equusearch was set up two weeks earlier while there was an active search of the area.
The family of Haleigh's father -- the girl's parents were never married and have been separated for years -- remains camped in a different place and has the property owner's permission to stay.
Both family tents have become a makeshift tributes to Haleigh -- with dozens of photos, stuffed animals and messages left by friends and strangers who have come by to show their support.
Family Tries To Keep Haleigh In Public Eye
As the search for Haleigh continues into a fourth week and the number of new leads in the case dwindles, her family is doing what they can to keep the public thinking about and looking for the missing girl.
"Please look around at your neighbors because somebody out there is a neighbor who has a child that does not belong to them. She is our baby girl and if you could just see her, call it in. We would really appreciate any help," said Haleigh's grandmother, Teresa Neves.
Investigators with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI have followed thousands of leads, but the family told Channel 4 that authorities said they are no closer to finding Haleigh than they were on Feb. 10 -- the morning she was reported missing and an Amber Alert was issued.
"The piece of information that's going to lead us to her, we haven't found it," Schauland said on Wednesday.
Haleigh's family on Tuesday released more photos and home video of the kindergartner and set up a Facebook page to help get her story before more people.
While the sheriff's office released the mobile home where Haleigh disappeared back to the family earlier this week, most members of the family can't bring themselves to go inside. The missing girl's grandfather, Lester Cummings, said he went inside to get some clothes for his son, Ronald, but everybody else breaks down before they get to the porch.
Last weekend, the Hide Away Bar suspended its annual bike week events to raise money for Haleigh Cummings instead. Organizers at the Putnam County bar said that they hoped that their fundraiser would bring in more tips for investigators.
Anyone who has any information that could help find Haleigh is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-277-TIPS. A reward of $25,500 was available for information leading to her recovery or the conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.
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