Family Members Return To Haleigh's Home
Day 24 Of Search For Missing 5-Year-Old
SATSUMA, Fla. – Thursday was a particularly emotional day for family members of missing Satsuma 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings as the child's loved ones went back inside the house where the girl and her father lived.
Last week, police took down their crime scene tape and said family was allowed inside the Cummings' home. At the time, many family members couldn't bring themselves to go inside. On Thursday, Haleigh's great-grandmother, Annette Sykes, stepped inside to tidy up the home before TV cameras are allowed to enter.
Signs of Haleigh could be seen outside the home -- her pink and blue bike and other little toys. Inside, Sykes said the rooms once filled with the girl's laughter are now filled with sorrow.
"There's just Haleigh all over the house ? there are toys and everything. Her pictures are on the walls and her clothes are there, the toys are there, even on the porch and in the yard. Everywhere you look, they're there," Sykes said.
She said she has dreaded the day when she would have to step foot inside the home. She went in to help straighten up the home from the way police left it after their search.
"The things that she played with the most are left out there right where they were. Her favorite stuff is there where she had it," Sykes said.
Though a painful task, she said she wants the home to look like the last time she saw Haleigh, at 7 p.m. before the night the child disappeared.
"They put their plates down and came and gave me a hug and a kiss. I gave Misty the clean clothes and she carried them in the house. Then, I left. I kissed her goodbye, and I left," Sykes said.
Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend, Misty Croslin, also entered the home to get some of their belongings. Family members said stepping into the once happy home was more pain than Cummings could bear.
"He tried to go back to the room from where his little girl was stolen. He couldn?t do it. He said he couldn?t do it, and we had to get him out of there," Sykes said.
The family has been staying in tents near the home as they've waited for any news about Haleigh; however, on Thursday, they received a letter from the county stating it is against county ordinance to camp out in a residential area. The family is looking for a new place to stay.
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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