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100 Deputies, Officers Search New Area For Haleigh

The largest organized search in weeks for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings took place in southern Putnam County Thursday morning.
/ Source: WJXT-TV

The largest organized search in weeks for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings took place Thursday morning in southern Putnam County.

About 100 police cadets, deputies from Putnam, Clay, St. Johns and Marion counties and people from other agencies were searching a wooded area along U.S. Highway 17 and neighboring railroad tracks. The search area stretched almost 13 miles from Satsuma -- where Haleigh disappeared from her father's home before dawn on Feb. 10 -- south to Crescent City.

It has been 31 days since 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings disappeared from her home in Satsuma.

"The search is not a result of information received, but is being conducted to be sure that all areas are covered," Putnam County Sheriff's Office Capt. Dick Schauland said.

The kindergartner hasn't been seen since her father's now-wife put her to bed on Feb. 9. When the Misty Croslin awoke at about 3 a.m. the next morning to use the bathroom, she noticed Haleigh was gone.

In the month since an Amber Alert was issued, more than 2,000 tips have poured in to detectives and investigators said they have checked out hundreds of leads and tips in the case, including multiple false sightings of the missing girl.

For the first 10 days, search teams, including cadaver dogs, volunteers on foot and on horseback, helicopters and those using different types of sonar technology, scoured a five-mile radius around the Cummings' home.

Ronald Cummings said he cannot bring himself to go back into the mobile home where Haleigh disappeared.

The families of the missing girl have lived in separate camp sites near the home where Haleigh disappeared, held nightly prayer vigils and done what they can to keep the public thinking about and looking for the missing girl. Due to property rights and county rules, both families are in the process of moving their compounds.

Earlier this week, the Justice Coalition added $8,490 to the reward for Haleigh, bringing the total reward amount to $35,000.

Anyone who has any information that could help find Haleigh is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-277-TIPS.

Missing Girl's Father Gets Married

Ronald Cummings and his teenage girlfriend, Misty Croslin, went ahead on Thursday afternoon with their plans to get married.

Cummings got down on his knees and asked Croslin to marry him while they were at Chili's with family. The 17-year-old Croslin was all smiles as she and Cummings went to the courthouse on Monday to get their marriage license.

Relatives told Channel 4 Cummings and Croslin had been discussing marriage before Haleigh disappeared, and their union was something the little girl always wanted.

"This is what Haleigh wanted. She has always talked about it, and even if she's not with us, she is still with us," Croslin said.

Although the family repeatedly told the media that the pair would be married in a Satsuma church, the couple decided to keep their nuptials private at an undisclosed location.

Relatives called the day exciting, but bittersweet at the same time.

"It is about Haleigh. It is for Haleigh. We'd love for Haleigh to be there. If they were able to find Haleigh in five minutes, we have a little flower girl dress for her," said Haleigh's grandmother, Teresa Neves.

"They have been planning this forever. They just decided they were ready," said Croslin's sister, Lindsey Croslin.

The family members said in the end they chose not to have a flower girl because they believe Haleigh would've been the best fit.