I’m not even going to address the accusations that have been made over the last few days. They are truly so outlandish that they don’t dignify a response. What I am going to do, is what I was planning on doing all along; tell exactly what has been going on behind the scenes for the last week in the Haleigh Cummings’ investigation. However, we all know now that the plan got foiled by a little road rage incident, that has damaged this investigation irreparably.
Back on Sept 20th, Tim Miller asked me to come to Orlando to film Misty Cummings’ hypnosis and voice analysis that SHE had requested to have done. Although I was not paid, I was permitted to report (as I did on this blog) my observations of the tapings. Tim also flew in TJ Ward, the voice analysis expert, and he needed someone to pick TJ up at the airport. Because Texas EquuSearch (TES) operates with a very small budget, they rely on volunteers. Tim called his TES member closest to the airport, and asked her to pick up TJ; that member was Donna Brock. Donna and TJ arrived in Satsuma at Ronald’s aunt’s house (where the hypnosis and voice analysis was being conducted). This is the first time I had ever met Donna. She was asked to wait with TJ until he was done with his test and to return him to the Orlando Airport (he’s from Georgia). It was a long day for all involved, and there was a lot of waiting around. Misty took a liking to Donna; they chatted causally as we got set up for the interviews. The two even slipped out to pick up food for everyone (Ronald, Teresa, Ronald’s aunt, Jr. and a few other family members were all there).
The week before this, Tim Miller had an intimate conversation with Ronald Cummings in the bedroom he shared with Misty in his grandmother’s trailer just down the road. They talked in detail about their thoughts of Misty’s involvement in the case. Tim asked Ronald why he married Misty. Ronald responded, “I have to keep her close til I find out what happened to Haleigh.” It’s what happened next that frightened Miller. Ronald pulled a gun out of the closet — an assault rifle with 2 clips — each clip holding 32 bullets. Ronald looked at Miller and said, “When I find out where Haleigh’s at, I will blow the teeth out of the back of her head, and then I’ll do this…” He then got on his knees, put the butt of the rifle on the floor, leaned over and put the barrel in his mouth. There was no “IF” she had anything to do with it, Miller knew that Ronald was serious — that he would kill Misty, and then take his own life. It was at that point he knew they had to get Misty out of there, or she would end up dead.
After LE received copies of the polygraph, the voice analysis and hypnosis, I wrote about it on my blog. The media then picked up the story and it blew up. (I cleared with Miller and LE that it was ok to release the tapes to the media.) When the story blew up, so did tempers in Satsuma, and Miller knew he had to get Misty out of there immediately. Donna seemed liked the logical choice. Misty trusted her — she is a mother and a grandmother, and most importantly, she lived close enough and was willing to take Misty in. “We may have to save Misty’s life,” Miller told Donna. And in an instant, Donna was off to get Misty and bring her to safety in Orlando.
Miller knew in the back of his mind, Donna now had an opportunity to get close to Misty and get more information that could lead to Haleigh. So did LE. Miller also knew she wasn’t an expert, just one of his volunteers going above and beyond her call of duty, and he worried about that. LE was well aware of exactly where Misty was and what was going on at all times. This is what they wanted — Misty away from Satsuma, the trailer park, her family, Ronald’s family, and most importantly — away from Ronald.
In Mark Fuhrman’s new book, “The Murder Business,” he writes in detail about the Melinda Duckett case, the young Florida mother of Trenton Duckett, who went missing in 2006. After appearing on Nancy Grace’s show, Melinda committed suicide.
“With Melinda Duckett’s suicide, investigators lost their best chance of finding Trenton,” says Fuhrman. “We have to avoid that same situation at any cost,” says Tim Miller. “If anything tragic happens to Misty now, any knowledge of what happened to Haleigh dies too.” “You can’t put a price tag on finding a child.”
Over the next month, Misty and Donna grew close. Miller wired money into Donna’s account on several occasions to cover Misty’s living expenses, right up until 4 days ago, when he wired her $300.00 dollars, all for the purpose of keeping her safe, keeping her away from Satsuma and keeping her talking.
“Donna made incredible sacrifices. She put her life on hold, stopped spending time with her own family, including her daughter and newborn grandbaby,” said Miller. “This has been very stressful for her.” Miller and Donna both made periodic reports to LE on Misty’s whereabouts and activities.
As any good journalist should, I reached out to Donna to try and get comments and information on Misty. Donna and Misty were tight-lipped at first, but they read my blog nightly, and as they watched the media bashing Misty on TV every night, they grew to trust me. When the divorce news broke, Misty wanted to respond to what was being said. So she granted me an interview on the phone and I posted it on the blog.
That night, someone from CBS’ “The Early Show” read my blog and emailed me immediately to see if I could get them an interview with Misty. I freelance for CBS, so when they called, I wanted to help them out. I knew I didn’t have the resources to fly to Orlando and conduct the interview myself, just to post it on my blog. I told Misty of CBS’ interview request and she agreed to it. CBS arranged to fly her up, not first class as rumored last night on Nancy Grace, but in coach. It is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in the media to fly a guest in and put them in a hotel to tape an interview. Donna came along because Misty is a minor, and she needed to be accompanied by an adult. I notified LE that she was coming to NY to appear on “The Early Show,” and I gave them her outgoing and return flight and hotel information so they knew where she was. LE requested that we not change her return ticket to any state other than Florida.
Then the road rage incident happened. Donna and Misty called me right after it happened because we had been in constant contact. A woman cut them off on the road and they (both) gave her the finger. A stupid decision on both their parts, bad judgment whatever you want to call it, in that second everything changed. Up until that point Donna and Misty had remained quiet, flying under the radar so to speak, and Misty trusted Donna. Apparently, the woman who cut them off recognized Misty and called police claiming they pointed a gun. Next thing you know, Donna and Misty are pulled over and find themselves face down on the ground with guns in their backs. The situation quickly diffused when the police realized the report was false. The media went nuts, Donna’s cover was blown, and the woman turned up on Nancy Grace. What an opportunist, she should be ashamed of herself for lying to police. Donna and Misty realized they were wrong and it was foolish. Then the armchair investigators tried to connect dots that weren’t connectable. And none of this has anything to do with finding Haleigh. Why would Nancy Grace waste an hour on this? I decided not to even right a post about it. It was irrelevant. But now Misty learned that Donna was not her friend.
The CBS interview was important because the more people talk, the more they reveal. Every time Misty tells the same story, police can look for inconsistencies, something different, perhaps a clue. That’s why it was so important to get Misty to tell “her side of the story.” And perhaps, from what I hear, it may her last interview (Part 2 will air on CBS’ “Early Show” on Monday). After the interview aired, Misty’s attorney dropped her as a client.
Tonight as I write this, Donna has dropped Misty off in Satsuma. Donna will meet again with LE to tell her the last of what she has learned. Donna has been very tight-lipped about her conversations with Misty, at least with me. At least for now. The next few days should be interesting, now that Misty is back in the lions’ den. I will write more about my observations and conversations I had with Misty while in NY with her.
I asked Tim Miller if his organization will continue to look for Haleigh. “I’m not done with this case; I’m done with these people. But any resources I have will be available to help find Haleigh. I will continue any efforts I can to end the search for Haleigh Cummings.”
I hope this begins to clear up a few things and connect the dots for everyone that has been following this case. There is a lot more coming. Please stay tuned.