Haleigh's Dad Denies Girlfriend Involved

By: CBS/AP
By: CBS/AP

(CBS/ AP) The intense search continues in northern Florida for a five-year-old girl who disappeared from her bedroom sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

Haleigh Cummings was last seen in her father's mobile home in a heavily wooded area north of Satsuma, a community along the St. Johns River about 70 miles north of Orlando.

During the day, searchers walked shoulder-to-shoulder nearby, through thick underbrush and palmettos, each carrying a machete to clear brush. At times, they would stop and use a shovel to check when they found fresh dirt.

"With the helicopters and ground forces," Putnam County, Fla. Sheriff Jeff Harvy told reporters, "we've stretched out to at least a five-mile area."

A tearful Crystal Sheffield, Haleigh's mother, said, "I just want my baby home."

Haleigh was reported missing when her 25-year-old father, Ronald Cummings, returned home from work early Tuesday.

His girlfriend, Misty Croslin, 17, says she tucked Hayleigh into her own bed at 8 o'clock.

But, a choked-up Croslin says, "I woke up (five hours later) and she was gone. The back door was wide open."

Cummings and Croslin insist the door had been locked but, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella, investigators say they found no sign of forced entry. Croslin told a 911 dispatcher that the door, which was usually locked, had been propped open by a
brick.

Hayleigh's maternal grandmother suspects there's more to the story, Cobiella points out.

Asked if she thinks Croslin has anything to do with the girl's disappearance, Marie Griffs replied, "It's a possibility. She was there, that was her watch, Haleigh was in her care."

That was flatly denied by Cummings, who told media members, "She had nothing to do with this. I had nothing to do with this."

The child's father and his girlfriend have taken lie detector tests, Cobiella adds. Results haven't been released.

Croslin is disputing early reports that she was sleeping beside Haleigh when she vanished, as she initially told a local newspaper.

Croslin now insists she had been sleeping beside Haleigh's younger brother.

Investigators are calling the case an abduction.

© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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