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Nancy Grace Investigates Haleigh Cummings Case
Aired September 7, 2009 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: A 5-year-old Florida girl tucked into bed. Five hours later, she`s gone, vanished, the back door propped wide open. Daddy comes home from the night shift to find not a trace of little Haleigh. Police say the last person to see Haleigh alive refuses to give straight answers about the night Haleigh goes missing and is unable to account for crucial hours surrounding the alleged kidnap.
In a stunning twist, investigators announce Haleigh was not -- repeat, was not -- kidnapped by a stranger. No stranger snuck into the home that night and snatched the little girl. Cops even reveal physical evidence at the scene contradicts Misty Croslin, the baby-sitter`s, story.
Bombshell tonight. Girlfriend-baby-sitter Misty Croslin flunks a private polygraph, flunks miserably. Not only that, reports she flunked a voice stress test, as well. Tonight, what happened to 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh Cummings?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: 911. What`s your emergency?
MISTY CROSLIN, BABY-SITTER/STEPMOTHER: I just woke up and our back door was all open, and I can`t find my daughter.
911 OPERATOR: Can`t find what?
CROSLIN: Our daughter.
911 OPERATOR: OK. What`s your address?
CROSLIN: Green Lane. (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: What`s the numerical?
CROSLIN: The numerical? What`s that?
911 OPERATOR: The number, (DELETED) Green Lane?
911 OPERATOR: OK. When did you last see her?
CROSLIN: We just, like -- you know, it was about 10:00 o`clock. We were -- she was sleeping. I did cleaning (ph).
911 OPERATOR: OK. How old is your daughter?
CROSLIN: She`s 5.
911 OPERATOR: OK, what was she last seen wearing?
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: Ma`am?
CROSLIN: She was in her pajamas. We were sleeping.
911 OPERATOR: OK. All right. You said your back door was wide open?
CROSLIN: Yes. It was a brick -- like, there`s a brick on the floor. Like, when I went to sleep, the door was not like that.
911 OPERATOR: OK, the back door...
911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. Your back door was wide open. What are you talking about a brick?
911 OPERATOR: What? What is the brick?
CROSLIN: It`s on the back door, on the stairs. Like, we have a walkway.
911 OPERATOR: And there was a brick laying there?
CROSLIN: Yes. It`s still there.
CUMMINGS: Tell them they better come on! (INAUDIBLE)
CROSLIN: They are!
911 OPERATOR: We`ve got them coming. Tell him we`ve got them coming.
CROSLIN: They`re coming.
911 OPERATOR: OK, what`s the color of your house, ma`am?
CROSLIN: It`s blue.
911 OPERATOR: It`s blue? OK. What -- what does she look like? How tall is she? Give me some description of her.
CROSLIN: She has, like -- like, long hair, curly, like, curls...
911 OPERATOR: Long, curled -- what color?
CROSLIN: She`s white.
911 OPERATOR: OK, what color hair?
CROSLIN: She`s got brown hair.
911 OPERATOR: Brown hair?
CROSLIN: Yes. Oh, my God! (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: OK, how tall is she, about? Or how much does she weigh? Do you know that?
911 OPERATOR: About how tall or how much does she weigh?
CROSLIN: Like, four something, like, I don`t know, like -- she`s not that tall.
911 OPERATOR: OK, tell your husband we`ve got them coming, OK?
911 OPERATOR: How much does she weigh, do you know?
911 OPERATOR: How much does she weigh?
CROSLIN: Like, 40, 50 pounds, 60 pounds.
911 OPERATOR: Forty to sixty pounds?
911 OPERATOR: OK. Was your back door locked, do you know?
CROSLIN: Yes. The back door always stays locked.
CUMMINGS: We need somebody to get here now!
911 OPERATOR: OK, let me speak to him (INAUDIBLE)
CROSLIN: Yes, here. Here, here, here!
CUMMINGS: I just got home from work. My 5-year-old daughter is gone.
911 OPERATOR: OK.
CUMMINGS: I need somebody to be here now, I`m telling you!
911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. Listen to me. We`ve got two officers...
CUMMINGS: If I find whoever has my daughter before y`all do, I`m killing him. I don`t care.
911 OPERATOR: OK. OK.
CUMMINGS: I`ll spend the rest of my life in prison, I`m telling you. You can put it on recording, I don`t care.
911 OPERATOR: OK. It`s OK, sir. We`ve got them on the way. OK, can you give me any -- what kind of description of her pajamas that she was wearing?
CUMMINGS: I don`t (DELETED) know! I was at work!
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir. We`ve got them coming, OK?
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, let me talk to your wife so I -- let me get some information from her.
911 OPERATOR: OK, can I talk to her?
911 OPERATOR: OK, listen to me. I need you to answer some questions. Does the door look like it was pried open?
911 OPERATOR: Does it look like you had -- does it look like you had some sort of someone try to enter into your house?
CROSLIN: Hold on.
911 OPERATOR: And another thing. Make sure you and your husband don`t touch the door anymore. Don`t mess with the door or anything.
CROSLIN: No, it doesn`t.
911 OPERATOR: It doesn`t look like it is?
911 OPERATOR: OK, now, listen, tell your husband...
911 OPERATOR: ... do not touch anything. Make sure (INAUDIBLE) because we`re going to try to get a K-9 out there, OK?
CROSLIN: OK. She said don`t touch anything because they`re bringing a K-9 out here.
911 OPERATOR: OK, listen to me. I`m getting this information. I`m not the officer driving out there, OK?
911 OPERATOR: They`re coming out there to handle that situation. I need to gather all our information from you over the phone.
911 OPERATOR: It has nothing to do with me driving out there. The officers are taking care of that, OK? They`re coming out there, OK?
911 OPERATOR: OK. I`m going to stay on the phone with you, OK...
911 OPERATOR: ... until they get there. All right. Hang on. Tell him we`ve got them coming. He needs to try to calm down a little bit, OK? The officers are going to come out there and do what they can. We can`t have him screaming and yelling at the officers whenever they get there, OK?
911 OPERATOR: Tell him we`ve got them coming. He needs to try to calm down a little bit, OK? The officers are going to come out there and do what they can. We can`t have him screaming and yelling at the officers whenever they get there, OK?
CUMMINGS: Give me my (DELETED) phone! I got better people to talk to than a (DELETED) (DELETED) that ain`t coming!
911 OPERATOR: What`s her date of birth?
CUMMINGS: You all are (DELETED) playing games! I`m going to (DELETED) kill somebody!
911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell him we understand. We need to get her date of birth.
CROSLIN: What`s her date of birth?
CUMMINGS: (DELETED) her birthday! We need to find her! (DELETED) her date of birth!
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, let me talk to your wife. Let me get some information from her.
911 OPERATOR: OK...
911 OPERATOR: Can I talk to her?
911 OPERATOR: OK.
CUMMINGS: How the (DELETED) can you let my daughter get stole, (DELETED)!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GRACE: With me right now, the father of little Haleigh. Ronald Cummings is with us. Mr. Cummings, you and your family are in so many prayers across the country right now. Please tell us what happened when you got home from work that night. I believe it was around 3:00 AM.
CUMMINGS: Actually, it was about 3:25, 3:27.
CUMMINGS: And I pulled into the yard, and my girlfriend opened the front door. And I already knew something was wrong because she`s not up at this time. She told me -- I said, What are you doing up at this time? She said your back door`s wide open and your daughter`s gone.
GRACE: What is her description -- what scenario took place?
CUMMINGS: She got out of the bed and went to use the restroom and came back to find out that my daughter was not in bed with her.
GRACE: OK, what time...
CUMMINGS: And the back door was wide open and she was -- and she was gone.
GRACE: Ronald, what time did she put Haleigh to bed?
CUMMINGS: She puts them to bed every night at 8:00 o`clock.
GRACE: At 8:00 o`clock. When she put...
GRACE: When she put her to bed at 8:00 o`clock, did she also put to bed the little 4-year-old boy?
CUMMINGS: Yes, she did.
GRACE: OK. What time did she go to bed?
CUMMINGS: Approximately 10:30, 11:00.
GRACE: At 10:30, 11:00. At that time, was little Haleigh in the bed asleep with the brother?
GRACE: And they all slept together in the same bed, correct?
GRACE: So sometime between 11:00 PM and 3:30 AM, Haleigh goes missing. Now, did she call 911?
CUMMINGS: No, she did not, not until after I was there. She tried to call me, but I was pulling in the driveway. So I asked her how come she was trying to call me, she needed to call 911. So she immediately called them then.
GRACE: And where does the biological mother live, Ronald? Ronald, where does the mom live? OK. I think somehow -- I think I`ve lost his connection. Liz, see if you can bring Ronald back up. Ronald, where does the mother...
CUMMINGS: I got you. I got you.
GRACE: OK. Good. Everyone, Ronald Cummings is joining us there at the command center in Satsuma, Florida. Mr. Cummings, where does Haleigh`s mother live?
CUMMINGS: In Baker County, in Glen St. Mary.
GRACE: What is that, about 150 miles away?
CUMMINGS: I would say approximately 90 to 100.
GRACE: Have you and your girlfriend both taken a polygraph, right?
CUMMINGS: Yes, I have, passed it with flying colors. Yes, she has passed hers.
GRACE: And you volunteered to do that and you`ve been cooperating with police, right?
CUMMINGS: Yes. Why not? Why -- I don`t have anything to hide. I just want my daughter back. Anything that`s going to help them eliminate more people is the best thing.
GRACE: Exactly. Mr. Cummings, you said the door was propped open. Describe to me what you saw when you got home.
CUMMINGS: I came in the house and immediately checked all the bedrooms, the bathroom, everywhere, just to be sure. I walked to the back door. It was wide open. As I walked out the back door, the screen door was propped open with a cinderblock.
GRACE: Mr. Cummings, was the bedroom door open when they went to sleep?
CUMMINGS: Yes, it was.
GRACE: And what kind of a lock...
CUMMINGS: Yes, it was.
GRACE: OK. What kind of a lock do you have on your door, the one that was propped open with a cinderblock?
CUMMINGS: It`s just a little plastic lock on -- just a regular screen door plastic lock.
GRACE: Do you know where the cinderblock came from that was propping the door open?
CUMMINGS: Don`t have a clue. I don`t mess with none of that, so I don`t know. I very rarely am in the back yard at all unless I`m washing my car. So it could have came from around my shed. I`m renting. I don`t know if the previous renters had it or what, but I`ve never seen it, I don`t believe.
GRACE: So to your knowledge, you`ve never seen it?
CUMMINGS: Not that I believe. I mean, I may be mistaken and have seen it before, but I know it wasn`t where it`s at now.
GRACE: Mr. Cummings, about the back door, am I correct that you never -- you`ve rarely used the back door that was propped open?
CUMMINGS: Yes, you are correct. I`ve used it twice to pull a vacuum cleaner down the handicapped ramp and vacuum my car with it. And yes, I did relock the door when I came in. And I check to be sure that it is still locked every afternoon before I go to work.
GRACE: When we come back, the desperate search for 5-year-old Florida girl, Haleigh Cummings.
GRACE: Cops claim girlfriend-slash-baby-sitter Misty Croslin the key to the case of missing 5-year-old girl Haleigh Cummings. Investigators say she refuses to give straight answers and won`t account for crucial hours surrounding the girl`s disappearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Misty, how are you doing right now?
CROSLIN: Not good! I just want her to come home. I just want to find her!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know you`re 17. I can`t even imagine at my age going through this.
CROSLIN: It`s horrible! It`s very horrible. Very.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know at first, it seems like there`s been a lot of people that have been kind of, like, I don`t understand how this could be the situation, where you don`t hear her. Did you hear anything?
CROSLIN: I didn`t hear anything at all. Nothing. If I heard something, I would have got up and I wouldn`t have let them take her!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what happened?
CROSLIN: OK. I put her to bed about, you know, 8:00 o`clock because that`s her bedtime. She had school. I put her to bed in her blanket and my blanket. My blanket was in the bed that they took. So we had a blanket hanging on the window and I had to wash that, and her blanket. Her blanket was -- she had peed on her blanket the night before, I guess, and I was going to put it on there, but it smelled like pee. So I washed the blanket and I gave her a little sheet to cover up with. And she fell asleep. And I come in there and put her blanket on her. And then I laid down.
And it was about -- I mean, I`m not positive what time. It was, like, 3:00. You know, it was -- I seen 3:00, 3:00 o`clock in the morning. I got up and -- I got up because I had to use the bathroom, but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I seen the kitchen light on. And I walked in the kitchen, and the back door`s wide open. I mean, I didn`t notice about Haleigh then until I seen the back door open. And then I go in her room, and she`s gone! And that`s all I know, is when I woke up -- when I went to sleep she was there, and then when I woke up, she was gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know you`ve been intensively questioned by police. What has that been like for you?
CROSLIN: It`s been hard, but I`m trying to do everything to find her. You know, I`m -- answer any questions I have to because I know I didn`t do anything to that little girl. I would never hurt her. I mean, they love me. They love -- I mean, they look at me like their mom, you know. You ask little Junior. He`ll tell you, you know. They talk lovely about me, and I`m so good to them kids, real good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you woke up, and that was it? You saw the door open? Did you leave the light on or...
CROSLIN: No (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody turned the light on?
CROSLIN: The lights had to get turned on because I know them lights - - you know, I was in the hallway where the back door is. The dryers are right there. I was washing clothes. And that back door was shut, you know? And I just wake up and it`s open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you take a polygraph?
CROSLIN: I did. But I`m not supposed to talk about that. They told me not to talk about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you did...
CROSLIN: Yes, I did take a polygraph.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you passed it?
CROSLIN: I mean, my understanding is that I passed it, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want people to know?
CROSLIN: I just want everyone to know that I didn`t do anything with that little girl! I love her like she`s my own, and I`ll do anything to get her back! And if people think that I had something to do with it -- if I had something to do with it, if I knew where she was, we wouldn`t be sitting here today. We would have her. And I don`t. I don`t know where she is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a sweet baby. I can tell.
CROSLIN: She is so sweet. She`s a smart little girl. She`s intelligent, you know? She`s a real good girl, a real good girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your heart -- you say you think of her like your daughter.
CROSLIN: Like my daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your heart tell you right now?
CROSLIN: It just tells me I need to find her, you know? (INAUDIBLE) just find her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You believe she`s still out there?
CROSLIN: Yes. I do believe she`s still out there. Someone has her or -- I mean, I don`t want to think of the bad, you know? I mean, it runs through my mind, but I don`t want to think of the bad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the deal with the brick? There was a brick that was propped up.
CROSLIN: There was a brick, like, a cinderblock, that was holding the screen door open. And that brick -- that door -- that screen door is always closed, you know? That brick -- I`d never seen the brick even around there. The cops said there was a whole bunch of bricks about 50 feet away, but I`ve never seen any bricks at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So somebody propped up the screen door with a brick?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So bring her home.
CROSLIN: We just want her to come home. That`s it. I just want her to be OK. And whoever has her, I just want them to bring her home!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Safe.
CROSLIN: Just safe and...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calm down.
CROSLIN: I just want her to come home safe. And I thank everybody out there that`s helping us, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you a really sound sleeper?
CROSLIN: I mean, usually -- like, she usually -- Haleigh will wake up at nighttime. She gets cramps in her legs, you know, and I have to rub her legs to get the cramps out of her legs to get her back to sleep. And you know, she didn`t make no noise that night. I would have woke up if I heard any noise. I mean, I didn`t hear anything at all. I mean, I was really exhausted that day, you know? Really exhausted. And when I laid down, I guess, you know, I just was out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did she -- there`s no way she could have wandered off?
CROSLIN: No. She is scared of the dark. She would not go anywhere by herself. She would not. She would not go out of the house by herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think that something happened and you just didn`t hear it.
CROSLIN: Yes. I just didn`t hear it. And I wish I did because I wouldn`t have let no one take her!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you blaming yourself?
CROSLIN: I just know, like -- I feel, like, that, you know -- I wish that they would have took me instead of her, you know, because I could have fought. You know, she`s only 5. She can`t really do anything. And I just wish that they would have took me instead of her! What do they want with a little 5-year-old?
BREMNER: Anything else that you want to say, Misty?
911 OPERATOR: I just want her home. Anybody knows where she is, please bring her home safe. And that`s it. I just want her home!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: An exclusive tour inside the home where 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh Cummings was reportedly snatched from her own bed.
GRACE: Marlaina, show me the girl`s room. That`s the first thing I want to see.
MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: OK, Nancy. Well, we`re standing right here. Right beside me on my left is the bed where Misty Croslin was sleeping. And here on the right, we have the bed where little Haleigh was sleeping. And you can see it is all but about three-and-a-half feet from each other.
And this is right where Misty said she got up and she had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Now, where I`m facing right now, Nancy, is a bathroom. It`s the master bathroom. Through the living room behind me is the other bathroom in the house. And you have to remember, she said that she -- when she got up to go to the bathroom, she saw that the kitchen light was on. The kitchen is over this way. So that means she would have had to have gotten up and gone out this door and then have noticed.
GRACE: OK, stop. Marlaina, are you telling me that she did not go to the bathroom, the baby-sitter did not go to the restroom, the master bathroom, she chose instead to go out the door, across the kitchen to another bathroom?
SCHIAVO: That is the assumption we are making. We asked Teresa, Haleigh`s grandmother, who`s standing with us. She wasn`t sure which bathroom she used. But if she saw the kitchen light on, she would have had to have used the other bathroom in the home, Nancy.
GRACE: Was the door open or shut, Ms. Neves? Because if the door was closed, that rules out her seeing the kitchen light. So was that bedroom door open when she realized the kitchen light was on?
TERESA NEVES, HALEIGH`S PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: The bedroom door is always open.
GRACE: Marlaina, how big is that bedroom?
SCHIAVO: The bedroom is, I would say, about -- I would have to say 11 by 13.
GRACE: OK. Let`s go through the rest of the house -- 11 by 13. Thanks. Go ahead. Tell me what else you observed.
SCHIAVO: OK, so -- well, basically, Nancy, they kept saying that the door, the back door, which we`re about to go to, is about 16 feet from the bedroom. It`s a little bit more than that, actually. If I had to guess, it would probably be about 25.
But I`m going to show you the back door and show you how both doors close automatically, so -- and I`m also going to show you the lock because the lock is about three feet from the floor, and we know that that`s about as tall as Haleigh stands. So here`s the back door and here`s the lock. It sticks. So there you go. Now we open the back door, and here`s the back screen door, the one that was propped open with the cinderblock, OK?
Now, if you see, when it closes, it slams. It makes a loud noise. But if you leave this door, this slowly closes, as well. So it leaves a lot of questions as to what exactly -- how exactly did this person do this?
GRACE: Next, investigators say the last person to see Haleigh alive is the key to the case, but the baby-sitter-slash-girlfriend-turned-stepmom refuses to give straight answers.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Five-year-old Florida girl, Haleigh Cummings, tucked into bed. Five hours later she`s gone. The back door propped wide open. Daddy comes home from the night shift to find not a trace of little Haleigh.
Not only do investigators say the last person to see Haleigh alive can`t keep her story straight, but we learned the babysitter/girlfriend turned stepmom, Misty Croslin, flunks a polygraph. And it`s a whopper. 99 percent inaccurate.
Not only that, she allegedly flunks a voice stress test. More disheartening, she changes her story, now claiming up to four people in the home the night Haleigh goes missing. But calling it a dream-like memory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Haleigh`s birthday Misty Croslin-Cummings hung posters on the house for her. And when asked about what she thought of the new attorney in Orlando and Tim Miller with EquuSearch helping in Haleigh`s case, she was positive.
MISTY CROSLIN-CUMMINGS, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` STEPMOM: I think they`re going to be able to put more stuff together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miller said she told him she wanted to clear her name, so he set up an independent polygraph. He says she failed it miserably.
TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: Did you intentionally withhold any information regarding Haleigh`s disappearance? Her answer was no. She failed it miserably with a 99 percent deception.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miller says Croslin-Cummings wanted to do more, so she took a voice analysis test. She failed that, too. And he says she was uncooperative with a hypnotist. Miller gave the test information to the Putnam County Sheriff`s Office.
MAJ. GARY BOWLING, PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPT.: It indicated that Misty was deception indicated is the official statement, which is no surprise to us. We`ve said along that -- all along that Misty has been inconsistent in her statements.
And I agree with the point that was made by Tim Miller`s investigator, which is that Misty`s consistency is inconsistency.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Misty signed a paper saying she had an attorney who did not want her to take the test but that she still wanted to take them. Misty`s attorney, Robert Fields, says she told him she was pressured to take the test and that if she did not Miller would not help search for Haleigh. Miller denies that.
Investigators say there`s nothing at this point to charge Misty Croslin- Cummings with regarding Haleigh`s disappearance.
BOWLING: You know, we think that Misty needs to tell us some things, you know, fill in some inconsistencies. But that`s about as far as we`re willing to go with that statement. But we`re going to stop just short of saying and therefore we have probable cause to make an arrest.
We don`t. If we had probable cause to make an arrest at this point, we probably would have.
GRACE: With us tonight, Ronald Cummings. This is little Haleigh`s father. He has never shied away from the camera and answering your questions. He apparently has nothing to hide.
And with him his attorney, Terry Shoemaker. Well-respected attorney. They`re joining us from Jacksonville, Florida.
Ronald, thank you for being with us again.
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH CUMMING`S S FATHER: Thank you for having us.
GRACE: Liz, please put Ronald on screen for me.
Ronald, what do you make of Misty flunking a polygraph?
R. CUMMINGS: I don`t know anything about her flunking a polygraph. I know what`s been said about it, but I`m not a polygrapher myself. So I didn`t see any results. I didn`t -- you know, I was told by the polygrapher who did the polygraph that it`s not judged in percentages, that the polygraph is either a failed or a pass, not in a percentages.
GRACE: Well, OK. Let`s take what you know, that you either fail it or you pass it. Well, according to these reports, she flunked it. I mean, royally flunked it. And that`s got to concern you.
R. CUMMINGS: Well, until I see more physical proof of what`s going on, Miss Nancy, there`s -- my concerns are still on keeping Haleigh`s face on the TV and being sure that she is found. And whoever has done this to her is put away.
GRACE: OK. Ronald, I understand that you want to keep Haleigh`s face out there. And we are doing that. But I know you, and I do not believe you are not concerned about a report that your wife flunked a polygraph. It would concern me.
TERRY SHOEMAKER, RONALD CUMMINGS` ATTORNEY: Nancy, if I might, you know, of course, Ronald is concerned about a lot of things going on right now, but I think the main thing he`s concerned about is making sure that Haleigh is found.
And you know, again, we`d like to thank you for keeping Haleigh in the spotlight and making sure everyone continues to look for her and helping us every way you possibly can. But now we`re more concerned with that aspect rather than whether or not Misty may or may not have done well on a polygraph.
GRACE: You know, Mr. Shoemaker, you have an excellent reputation. And what you just said does not make one ounce of sense. Of course you want her picture out there. Of course you want the help of the media. But for the last person known to have seen Haleigh alive to have reportedly flunked a polygraph, how you can suggest that is not a major concern.
You want to find her? You want to find Haleigh? Then find out why Misty reportedly flunked a polygraph.
Gentlemen, does that not make sense to you? Ronald Cummings, I would like to hear it from you.
R. CUMMINGS: Nancy, what you`re saying makes perfect sense to me. But why is law enforcement -- I`m not law enforcement. I can`t interfere with their investigation. I can`t do anything about a polygraph or.
GRACE: Well, what is she telling you, Ronald? What is she telling you? I mean, she took that police polygraph. I don`t believe she took -- she passed it the first time. I don`t believe she did. Now this one. Then there was that voice stress test. I mean, something is wrong with her story, Ronald.
R. CUMMINGS: I don`t know, Miss Nancy.
GRACE: Ronald, I know that your heart`s desire is to bring her home alive. I`ll never forget the first time I heard your 911 call. And I think that is exactly the way I would have reacted if I came home and the twins were gone. And I want to know what you want to tell the viewers tonight.
R. CUMMINGS: I want to tell them to keep Haleigh`s face out there, and if you have any information leading to her disappearance to call it in. It don`t matter who it hurts. And I want to let everyone know that I`m not hiding anything for anybody. And if somebody had something to do with it, let them fry. So be it. Whoever it might be. That`s who -- that`s who it is. Let`s bring Haleigh home.
GRACE: Ronald, why did police question Misty Croslin`s brother and sister- in-law? What was that all about? They kept them for hours.
R. CUMMINGS: Miss Nancy, I don`t have a clue what they questioned them about. I`m not allowed around them.
GRACE: That`s right. I understand. Ronald, what do you believe is being done now in the search for Haleigh? I know they just finished another search around your home, and they did that because your wife, Misty Croslin, directed them to a particular spot.
R. CUMMINGS: Well, I`m happy that they`re still searching. I hope that they find my child alive, obviously. But one way or another I want my daughter to come home.
GRACE: Ronald, you said.
R. CUMMINGS: I need some closure.
GRACE: You said that you don`t care who it hurts and that you`re not covering for anybody.
R. CUMMINGS: That`s right.
GRACE: OK. And I assume from knowing you that you mean that. So my question to you tonight is now that you have been told, whether you accept it or not, that your wife has flunked a poly, have you asked her what happened? What does she tell you?
I mean, I saw her on "The Today Show," and they asked her, why did you give two different stories? And she said, "I don`t know." That doesn`t make sense.
R. CUMMINGS: I asked her. But I don`t get any answers from her about, you know -- I don`t see -- what she`s telling me is not inconsistent.
R. CUMMINGS: So maybe what she.
GRACE: And what is it that she tells you? What is her story about what happened that night?
R. CUMMINGS: The same thing that she`s telling police, or whoever, that she went to bed -- she put Haleigh to bed, done some laundry, went to bed, and woke up to the door propped open.
GRACE: When we come back, the photos of Haleigh Cummings and her little brother with cuts and bruises prove the mom`s allegation abuse?
GRACE: Stunning photos surface of 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh and her 4-year-old little brother with cuts, bruises on face, arms, legs. But do they prove the bio mom`s allegations of abuse?
We have the photos. The Cummings fire back, calling the claim garbage. Pointing out correctly that DFACS, Department of Family and Children Services, just at the home leaving empty-handed, no charges.
Both sides lawyer up. A custody battle over Haleigh`s little brother now brewing.
GRACE: Ronald Cummings, what do you make of the potential custody battle that you`re facing on top of everything else?
R. CUMMINGS: I think that it`s absolutely and utterly ridiculous. All it does is take the focus off of my daughter being gone and put the focus on oh, let`s see who can get custody.
GRACE: Now, let me ask you this, Ronald. Your wife -- your former wife, well, the mother of the children hasn`t had custody in how long?
TERESA NEVES, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` GRANDMOTHER: Nancy, can I say something?
GRACE: Sure. Go ahead, Miss Neves.
R. CUMMINGS: She`s not my former wife, Miss -- she`s not my former wife.
NEVES: They were never married. So.
GRACE: Right. It`s the children`s mother.
R. CUMMINGS: Yes. August the 17th her second birthday is when I took physical custody of the children and I was granted custody of the children in December of `05. And I do have the court paperwork to prove it.
GRACE: Now, Ronald, they seem to suggest that the only reason the mother lost custody was because she missed some court dates. Is that true?
R. CUMMINGS: Absolutely not. She missed her first court date. The judge gave her wah-wah story another try. She showed up, lawyered up, and the truth is I was a better parent. Still am. Better provider.
GRACE: Where is Junior tonight, your son?
R. CUMMINGS: Do I have to answer that question?
GRACE: I mean, who`s got him? Who`s taking care of him?
R. CUMMINGS: My grandmother.
GRACE: Miss Neves, I understand you all have been living in tents outside -- or near the home. But you were forced to vacate the premises? Why?
NEVES: County ordinance is what reason they gave us. Every place we tried there was an ordinance against where we wanted to go. So it`s just a county ordinance.
GRACE: So I want to go back to the attorney for the mother, the biological mother, of little Haleigh now missing over a month, who is leveling abuse charges against the biological father, Ronald Cummings.
It was in his home from which the child was snatched in the middle of the night according to the girlfriend, now wife.
To Kim Picazio, the attorney for the mother, Crystal Sheffield. Miss Picazio, thank you for being with us. What exactly are the nature of the charges your client is leveling against the child`s father?
KIM PICAZIO, CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD`S ATTORNEY: That would be physical abuse of both children as well as an unfit home. We have also gone to DCF and explained all the facts that we`ve gotten from the community members who have come to us. We have checked and double-checked these facts.
We felt that it has risen to the level where we needed to go to the Department of Children and Families because we felt that the welfare of the child, Junior, who remains in the Cummings household, is in danger.
GRACE: Miss Picazio, what exactly is the nature of the alleged abuse you are claiming against Ronald Cummings on Haleigh and Junior, Ronald Jr.?
PICAZIO: Physical abuse. Child abuse.
GRACE: What? Spanking? Slapping? Beating? Locking in a closet? Burning with cigarettes? What? What are you alleging? What is the specific act that Ronald Cummings allegedly did?
PICAZIO: We have, again, gone to DCF and given the specific incidents of abuse. It would be hitting. Hitting in the face until bloodied. Hitting with sticks. Hitting with belts. I could go on and on. Throwing down stairs. Living in tents.
GRACE: Now -- OK. Hold on. Your client has not had custody and has had very little dealings with children ever since about 2005. Two judges on three occasions heard your client`s allegations. Never once during those times did she in a court of law when she had the chance tell a judge about physical abuse on the children. Why?
PICAZIO: Well, as you just heard from my client, there was not physical abuse witnessed by her during their relationship. And at the time of the hearing she was a very young girl.
She had been living in a household with Mr. Cummings, who regularly beat her. She had been given drugs by Mr. Cummings since she was a very little girl. She was alienated the entire relationship from her family. This person had turned her into someone who was controlled.
And at the court hearing, I`ve gone over it again and again with Miss Sheffield, she was sitting there with her attorney and facing Ronald Cummings, who would be gleaming at her. She felt scared. She was intimidated. And that`s essentially why she was -- she felt unable to defend herself. Out of fear.
GRACE: OK. All right.
GRACE: I get it. I get it. I just find it very unusual that at this juncture, when we`re in a search for little Haleigh, after all these years of living in the home she tells me on TV tonight that she never observed any abuse on the children, she`s waited until this time, when she has a framework in place to accept donations, that she`s now claiming abuse against the father. She had three opportunities to tell a judge, never told him.
And Miss Picazio, is it true that DFACS was at the home in the last month and found no substantiation to these claims? They have not moved forward on these claims?
PICAZIO: Well, first of all, I don`t know why this is so confusing. We just said.
GRACE: Well, because she`s just coming up with this now and she`s the one that lost custody.
PICAZIO: If you want to let me finish. She`s just coming up with it now because she`s just stated that it had never happened to her knowledge before now. And when.
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` MOTHER: Because I took care of the children.
PICAZIO: She took care of the children and the household.
SHEFFIELD: He had nothing to do with them.
PICAZIO: Hang on. And after little Haleigh went missing, we -- people came out of the woodwork to call me in my law office and to talk to people that were here with me in this town.
PICAZIO: And I`ve been here since Thursday.
GRACE: Well, you know.
PICAZIO: To give us rendition and personal.
GRACE: Miss Picazio, we only have a brief window for you to state your case. So you know if you could get to the point, I would appreciate that. Isn`t it true that your client has a record for filing false reports to police? Didn`t she accuse a co-worker once of stealing her car and then admit it was just a big fat lie?
PICAZIO: No, I don`t think she admitted it was a big fat lie. I think that situation.
GRACE: I believe police asked her.
PICAZIO: . has nothing to do with this case.
GRACE: Well, the fact that she`s already lied to police on one occasion, and if you read the police report and a supplemental report, it states that police said, look, did they really steal your car? And she said no. That`s charging somebody with a felony.
SHEFFIELD: Can I say something?
GRACE: I mean, that`s very disturbing.
PICAZIO: Are we.
GRACE: Miss Picazio, is there any other reason that we know of she lost custody originally?
PICAZIO: No. I think that -- you know the doctor`s appointments were mentioned and she did not have a driver`s license, not permitted to get a driver`s license, and Ronald kept her from doing that. And as soon as she left the home that`s when she got the driver`s license. However, she was unable to drive the children because she didn`t have a license.
GRACE: OK. Now that`s an interesting point because I thought the reason she didn`t visit the children more often is because she didn`t have a driver`s license. But you`re telling me she got a license immediately upon leaving the home?
PICAZIO: It wasn`t immediately. I don`t know the exact time period.
SHEFFIELD: I was 20 when I got my license.
PICAZIO: 20 years old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
R. CUMMINGS: Came home this morning to find out that I didn`t have a child. That somebody stole my child. It`s not like a bicycle or a car. Somebody stole my child from me.
SHEFFIELD: I just want whoever`s got her to bring her home. That`s all I want is my baby home.
R. CUMMINGS: Gave me a hug and a kiss, hold on to me, told me she loved me and she`s see me when I got home.
NEVES: She`s a daddy`s girl.
R. CUMMINGS: And she wasn`t there when I got home.
NEVES: She`s the most precious thing in our life. We want her to come home.
R. CUMMINGS: Please, Haleigh, know that I love you. I love you very much. We will find you. God will bring you home.
SHEFFIELD: Haleigh, if you`re out there, mommy loves you and your daddy loves you. We miss you and we`ll be right here. Please, whoever has her, bring her home. Please. We need her. We both need her. Please just bring her back.
I love you and your daddy loves you. We all love you. Please just bring her home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: On this Labor Day, let`s stop and remember Retired Army Major, Ed Freeman, 80, Boise, Idaho. A Vietnam, World War II and Korea veteran. A helicopter pilot during Vietnam, flew unarmed under heavy fire to supply troops and rescued dozens of wounded soldiers.
The mission earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. And in his later years, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the country`s highest military award.
He was also inducted to the Pentagon`s Hall of Heroes. Served 20 years with the Department of the Interior. Leaves behind grieving window, Barbara, sons, Mike and Doug, four grandchildren, three great- grandchildren.
Ed Freeman, American hero.
Thank you for being with us for this special "Nancy Grace Investigates." I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.