Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Haleigh: Year Later, Only Questions

by Pat Brown

A year ago today, a little girl named Haleigh Cummings was reported missing at 3:30 in the morning by her father and his underage, live-in girlfriend. They said five-year-old Haleigh somehow vanished from her bed in their Satsuma, Florida, home.

The case remains a train wreck. A year later, Haleigh is still missing, and both her father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend/wife/ex-wife, Misty Croslin, remain suspects in her disappearance.

 There are those who still believe Haleigh will be found, perhaps hidden by her biological mother or sold into a child sex ring. Most, however, believe Haleigh died that night and someone has gotten away with her murder, at least for the past year.

The perplexing question is WHO got away with what? What happened to Haleigh? Did she accidentally ingest and overdose on the drugs Ronald Cummings and Misty Croslin clearly were dealing and/or using? Did someone fail to keep an eye her, leaving her to toddle off  down the path behind the house and drown? Did someone get angry with her and kill her in a rage? Or did drug dealers steal and murder her as some sort of message to Daddy and Misty, his drug-dealing partner in crime?

Some of the facts of the case still remain sketchy, and the police haven’t been exactly forthcoming with details to fill the gaping holes in the story. We know Haleigh was last seen sometime on February 9th, the day before she vanished. We know Ron went to work that evening and Misty, then 17 years old, was allegedly watching five-year-old Haleigh and her two-year-old brother, both Ronald Cummings’s biological children with another woman.

Exactly when Ron went to work and what exact hours he can prove he was there have never been made clear. But, at 3:30 in the morning, Misty Croslin placed a phone call to 911:

"I can't find our daughter," Croslin said to the 911 operator, referring to Cummings’s daughter. "She was in her pajamas. We were sleeping."

Then Ronald told them:
"I just got home from work. My five-year-old daughter is gone. I need somebody to be here now," Cummings said. "If I find whoever has my daughter before y'all do, I'm killing them. I don't care. I'll spend the rest of my life in prison. ... I don't care."

Misty claimed the little girl disappeared out of the very room where she and the younger brother slept and was carted out the back door, which was found propped open with a cement block when the police arrived.  She said that she found the child missing when she got up to go to the bathroom and just then, Ronald arrived home. 

Although they seemed to check out the house, they didn’t appear to do much of a yard or neighborhood search, but called 911. While Misty tried to describe the child’s clothing, Ronald ranted about how his “dumb bitch girlfriend” had told him that his daughter was missing. Ronald repeatedly said someone had taken his child and that “when I find him, I will kill him.”
In the days, weeks, and month to follow, no trace of Haleigh is uncovered. Ronald and Misty spend little time searching for her and more time on watching TV, getting tattoos (that hideous one of Haleigh that looks like Chucky on his leg and the name of Ronnie on Misty’s back, even though they supposedly weren’t romantically involved any more), marrying each other, divorcing each other, and, finally, spending their valuable time dealing drugs and getting arrested. Now, both of them are likely heading to prison where certainly they won’t be able to find Haleigh. 

Through all of these shenanigans, Misty came out looking much worse than Ronald. She failed the polygraph and voice stress tests, couldn’t keep her story straight, and didn’t pull off too good of an act of despair. Ronald, on the other hand, gained a fairly strong fan club, people who believed he was at work when Haleigh went missing and cried convincingly on the 911 call and on camera.

But, finally, doubt is beginning to surface about Ronald’s character. He swore up and down to Geraldo that he had absolutely no involvement with drugs, and whaddya know, turns out he was a liar.
Okay. So now we know Ronnie is not a saint. And he lies. And he is a drug dealer. What else might Ronald be lying about? Let’s rewind back to the night Haleigh vanished. Here are some questions I have. What do you all think?
  •  Does Ronald do enough of a search for Haleigh when he arrives home?
  •  Do we have proof that Haleigh couldn’t have died before Ronald went to work?
  •  Could Ronald have disposed of Haleigh’s body on the way to work, at the work location, or on the way home?
  •  Could Ronald have instructed Misty to dump Haleigh’s body somewhere while he was at work so he would have an alibi?
  •  Was Ronald faking sobs on the 911 call and during his television interviews?
  •  Why does Ronald immediately say he is going to kill the guy who stole his child rather than hoping police find her and save her life?
  •  Could the guy Ronald be talking about actually be himself? Sometimes liars pick a truthful situation and change either the person involved or the time of the event in order to tell the story somewhat truthfully but take themselves out of the perpetrator’s role.
  •  Why is Ronald willing to get himself the death penalty for killing the guy or guys who “took his child” but not willing to beat up Misty for lying to him about what happened to his daughter?
  •  Why would Ronald continue to live with, sleep with, and marry a woman who won’t tell him what she knows about his child’s disappearance?
  •  Why doesn’t Ronald seem to care about his other child, Junior?
  •  Why would Ronald say Haleigh would be happy he was marrying Misty? Wouldn’t he want his daughter to be able to attend the wedding and celebrate with him this special day?
  •  How could Ronald get married while his daughter was somewhere dead or being raped and tortured?
  • Why would Ronald spend money on a tattoo of Haleigh rather than use the money to find her?
  •  Why, if Ronald thinks some guys came and took Haleigh, doesn’t he try to find those guys?
I believe Ronald is a manipulative, calculating, pathologically lying criminal who exhibits all the traits of psychopathy.
Usually, in cases where children go missing in the night, the male is responsible for the death of the child and the girlfriend/wife lies for him and sometimes takes the rap. I think that’s what happened in this case.

What do you think? Does Ronald know what happened to Haleigh, and is he the perpetrator of a crime against this child?


Ladyred56 said...

I think he does know. As to him being the perpetrator I don't know. I think they both know what happened and are despicable enough to believe that they would profit somehow. They have been in the news almost weekly for this past year about one thing or another. None of it good.
That poor little girl I think of her often I have a granddaughter almost the same age named Hailey.

Leah said...

I have always suspected he was involved because, as you pointed out, how could he marry Misty if there is even a cintilla of doubt that she was involved. And most people don't act the way he did when they call 911 to report a missing child. They are usually grief stricken and frightened and would do anything to get their child back. They don't threaten to kill, etc. I never liked RC from the beginning and I don't see how he amasses such a fan club.

California Girl said...

Given the fact small children often eat "candy" that is laying around, it would come as no surprise Haleigh might have died from eating something that looked like candy- like dope. Her caretakers don't have the brains of an icecube and they will slip up at some point.

Rose said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you but you said it way better than I could have.

katfish said...

Those are some great questions Pat. Questions we may never know the answer to. That dead end sign is very appropriate. :(

The theory I have left standing has Haleigh giving her new "Mom" some problems at bedtime.

Ron's demeanor towards Misty (calling her a dumb bitch...I doubt that night was the 1st time he used this term of endearment for his future wife) combined with Misty's immaturity wouldn't exactly invoke a lot of respect for Misty's authority, especially from a child who doesn't want to go to bed. Ron had only been on the night shift a short time when Haleigh went missing, a few weeks. Was he allowing her to use a little "zanex the nanny" to get Haleigh to bed??

We can reasonably assume they had narcotics. We know they were fighting and she turned off her phone at 8:30. Many assume they were fighting over Misty's weekend drug and booze binge. That is certainly possible, but she came back Sunday so they had Sunday and the day Monday to fight.

I tend to think it was something Misty didn't want to watch the kids because she was burnt out. Did she give Haleigh too much sleeping meds? That stuff depresses the respiratory system and Haleigh did have asthma soooo???

I think the reason Ron has a fan club because people sense he has a genuine affection for his daughter. Those tears may have been real too...if they didn't intend for her to die. He sure didn't put his kids well being ahead of his. Even people who beat their kids think they love them.

Of course this is speculation but this theory would explain Ron's involvement, even if his work alibi can be accounted for.

One more thought, Jr said the couch was bouncing and a man in black took his sister....Did Misty get someone to help try to resuscitate Haleigh on the couch and when it didn't work get rid of her?

Klynn said...

Pat, you have great questions. The day they got married there was a big search. To me that says it all. RC hardly looked for her. A grieving father would be standing on street corners handing out fliers and saying he won't sleep until his daughter is found. The Ca. girl Matrice, her father showed his true terror in the search for his daughter. Why did
Teresa and Annette, when they knew Misty was out on a 3 day drug and sex binge, say Misty was the perfect mother for Junior? That horrifies me.

Barbara said...

No, I don't think that Ron was involved in Haleigh's disappearing and I don't think he knows who was. I think that Misty knows more than she is telling but I don't think she is going to tell.

Some of the info in your story is off. When writing a story such as this you should at least have the facts straight.

Law Enforcement have said that Ron is not a suspect. You don't know if he was selling drugs when he was confronted by Geraldo or not. From what I hear they just started setting not to long ago and LE has been watching them nearly from the beginning. You make statements as if they are facts and they aren't.

Everyone involved in this case is messed up but please keep your straight with facts. Time will tell what happened to Haleigh. We may all be surprised when we find out who took her.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should have all of your facts correct before you speak or write stories.

Anonymous said...

I think that Ron was sexually abusing Haleigh and he thought he was about to get caught for it. He told Misty to give Haleigh "something to help her sleep" and whooops!, overdose, cover-up... Misty talks about four shadowy figures (Ron, Tommy, Timmy, Joe); she's unsure of who took Haleigh (seems more confused than lying) but is lying about knowing what happened to Haleigh and telling the truth about it. Let them sit in jail and if they don't talk then give them their maximum drug penalties and call it done.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought Ron is controlling and the reason for Haleigh being "gone." Unfortunately for everyone else who played a part too, he has the Palatka PD behind him as well.

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