Sunday marks 90 days since Haleigh Cummings was reported missing from her Satsuma home.

The 5-year-old’s disappearance triggered a massive search and criminal investigation. It also put Putnam County into the national spotlight, often in unflattering ways, and put a fractured family’s domestic issues front and center.

Now, some there months later, there are far more questions than answers.

“We don’t know for sure what’s happened, but we do know that somewhere down the end of the line there’s going to be some type of crime involved,” Capt. Dick Schauland, a spokesman for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday.
Aside from general statements, authorities have refused to discuss what their investigators have uncovered.

“We also have to maintain a criminal investigation and we have to maintain the integrity of that,” Schauland said. “Should we be able to release something that would help us locate Haleigh we would certainly do that even if it would compromise the criminal investigation.”

Schauland said investigators are still on the case, even though other events have occurred since the girl went missing.

“Obviously there are other things going on in the county too, but nonetheless the investigators are still working,” Schauland said. “Hundreds and hundreds of interviews have been done, and they are still doing them.”

The blond-haired kindergartner was reported missing at 3:27 a.m. on Feb. 10 by Misty Croslin, who is now married to Haleigh’s father, Ronald Cummings.

She said she had put Haleigh and Ronald Junior, Haleigh’s little brother, to bed at 10 p.m., and awoke at 3 a.m. to find Haleigh gone.

A national Amber Alert was issued for Haleigh at 8 a.m. that morning, and remains in effect.

Diving squads, ground searchers, bloodhounds and helicopters scoured the area around Satsuma throughout the week for the little girl, and horseback riders searched deep wooded areas, with nothing found.

Authorities said they believed she was abducted, since the child is afraid of the dark and does not wander off alone.

“Everybody in that whole area within a mile of the house they have interviewed at last three times, and of course with family members they’ve done as many as 10 times,” Schauland said.

Both sides of Haleigh’s family set up camps in the neighborhood and held nightly vigils, praying for her return.

By Feb. 26, cadaver dogs were sent out to search within a quarter-mile of her home, but no scent of the 5-year-old was detected. (That must be a good sign.)

The stress remains for family members.

Ronald Cummings, Haleigh’s father, married Misty Croslin on March 12, and now lives at his grandmother’s house in Welaka since he lost his job. (If he could find the time to marry Misty, he could of made the time to call in to work and explain that he was still searching for Haleigh.)

“Every day is a little harder,” Annette Sykes, Cummings’ grandmother, said Friday. “We still have candlelight vigils every night.”

Teresa Neves, Cummings’ mother, said the vigils are open to the public and take place on Front Street in Welaka.

“I just want to thank everyone for their prayers,” Neves said.

Crystal Sheffield, Haleigh’s mother, travels between her home in Baker County and the Haleighbug Center in Satsuma.

The missing girl’s nickname was the inspiration for the center’s name.

“Primarily what it’s being used for is that we are going to pick back up some fund-raisers and keep the word out about Haleigh still being missing,” Kim Picazio, Sheffield’s attorney, said.

“The funds go to keeping flyers printed, T-shirts, keeping the word out in this town and surrounding towns to let them know that this child is still missing and that law enforcement needs any information that could possibly lead to finding her.”

Sheffield recently had a seizure at the center, which Picazio blamed on stress.

“It’s very stressful for her to sit at the Haleighbug Center,” Picazio said. “I can’t imagine after this long as a mom.”

Picazio now has a full-time employee at the building, which she pays for herself.

Sykes said the family has faith Haleigh is alive.

“Whoever has her, bring her home,” Sykes said.

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