For the past three (3) days, I have been deep inside the Haleigh Cummings’ investigation, talking intimately with family members including Haleigh’s father Ronald Cummings, and most importantly Misty Cummings, the last person to see little Haleigh Cummings alive.
It’s been over six (6) months since anyone has seen five (5) year old Haleigh Cummings, who disappeared from her home in Satsuma Florida, sometime in the evening of February 9th 2009. Now the last person to see her alive, is going to extreme measures to clear her name. Or is she?
Seventeen, (17) year old Misty Cummings, who married Ronald Cummings shortly after little Haleigh disappeared, has subjected herself to intense questioning, over the last few days regarding the disappearance of little Haleigh Cummings in hopes of clearing her name. Against the advice of her Attorney Robert Fields, she requested to take another polygraph, to be hypnotized and submitted herself to voice analysis.
Two (2) weeks ago, the family of Haleigh Cummings reached out to Tim Miller from Texas EquuSearch (TES). Independent from law enforcement, Miller arranged for three (3) separate experts to arrive into Florida to conduct the test, the costs paid for by Texas EquuSearch. Because of my involvement with this story as a journalist, Miller asked me to film the interviews. The experts included John Gastar, a former NYPD Detective with 35 years experience in hypnosis, TJ Ward, a voice analysis expert, most notable for his work on the Natalee Holloway case, and D. Craig Harper an independent polygraph expert. This seemed outside the realm of the kind of work TES traditionally does. When I asked Miller this, he responded “we will go to any lengths at any costs to find this missing child.”
During the intense questioning, which lasted 2 days, Misty broke down in tears as she recounted sexual abuse at the hands of family members and attempts to point fingers at people who she thinks may have taken Haleigh in an attempt to defer attention from herself. Police have asked me not to mention “who” as it’s part of the ongoing investigation. Tearfully, Misty reflects “my life has not been very good and it looks like its not going to get any better.”
Misty’s shocking statements, all caught on tape, have refueled the investigation into little Haleigh Cummings. Detectives from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department were made aware of the findings, and although they are not endorsing the release of the information to the public, they were planning on subpoenaing the tapes and any related information. Miller willingly turned the findings over to investigators. Just yesterday, detectives questioned Miller and myself for over five (5) hours concerning our observations and viewed the tapes in our presence as we answered questions about our conversations with Misty Cummings.
The relationship with police and the Cummings’ family is contentious, to say the least. Tim Miller has developed a very close relationship to Ronald and Misty, and it is Miller’s intimate relationship with Misty that police have relied on for information. “She looks at me like a grandfather,” Tim states.
The results of the taped interviews according to the experts who conducted them and the police who reviewed them are great for the investigation, but not great for Misty. She “miserably failed” the polygraph test. This is the fourth time she has failed a polygraph. During the hypnosis, she appeared uncooperative and told yet another version of the story that was inconsistent with previous versions. The voice analysis was perhaps the most revealing and according to results, “it appears Misty Cummings knows what happened and was directly involved in the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings.” Upon their initial viewing of these tapes, investigators uncovered several inconsistencies in Misty’s story. They are particularly interested in her version of the timeline the night of February 9th between 8:00pm and 3:00am. She claims she put Haleigh down at 8:00pm and went to sleep herself at 10:00 and awoke abruptly at 3:00 to find Haleigh gone. Now even her husband Ronald isn’t buying that story “she never went to bed that night” he said “the bed was made” Police confirmed Ronald’s story. As the investigation closes in on her and investigators focus on those few hours the evening of Feb.9th into early morning Feb.10th that Misty can’t account for. One thing is clear; the only thing that’s consistent about Misty Cummings story is her inconsistencies.
It’s clear from spending time with them, that the Putnam County Sheriffs’ Department is passionate about solving the Haleigh Cummings case. They have worked tirelessly following up on leads, they have a room full of evidence, and continue to search areas of interest. Without divulging specifics about their investigation, Captain Dominic Piscitello is very clear about one thing, “Misty Cummings holds the key to what happened to Haleigh Cummings that night.“