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Nancy Grace

Cummings Girlfriend Not Ruled Out as Suspect in Haleigh Disappearance

Aired March 16, 2009 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5- year-old girl tucked into bed, five hours later, she`s gone, vanished into thin air, the back door propped wide open. Dad comes home from the night shift to find not a single trace of little Haleigh.

Bombshell. In the last days, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, legally marries the last person to see little Haleigh alive, the girlfriend/baby-sitter allegedly sleeping in the bed next to Haleigh the night she`s kidnapped. The two jet to New York to honeymoon in the midst of the search for Haleigh, courtesy NBC`s "Today" show, but when given the chance to clear up inconsistencies in that live appearance fumble.

Now more questions as Florida police reiterate Misty Croslin Cummings has not -- repeat, not -- been cleared as a suspect and that they, too, can`t seem to get answers about the night Haleigh vanishes. In fact, police insist no one`s ruled out. They`re trying desperately to build a timeline but say inconsistencies in Croslin`s story cost them crucial time.

And tonight, is a custody battle brewing over Haleigh`s 4-year-old little brother? Haleigh`s mother hiring a lawyer and now her own PI. Primetime exclusive tonight, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, not afraid to answer questions. He is with us live tonight. Tonight, where is 5- year-old Florida girl Haleigh?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a wedding shocker, Haleigh`s father, Ron, and his teen girlfriend, Misty, tied the knot in his grandmother`s back yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some critics say the timing is just downright wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After all he`s been through, I think it`s OK that he has a happy moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And after getting married, Misty Croslin back under the microscope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Croslin was the last one to see Haleigh alive. She`s the one who tucked her into bed.

RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER: She was the last one to see her. She had nothing do with this. I had nothing do with this.

MISTY CUMMINGS, STEPMOTHER: I was home because I did pass my lie detector test saying that I was home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one knows if you`ve completely passed or completely failed. Every question is pass/fail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Meantime, Ron says Haleigh`s mom, Crystal, made up the story about Haleigh`s little brother seeing a man in black take his sister.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh, if you`re watching, Mommy loves you and I miss you and I want you to come home!

CUMMINGS: Please bring her home. Please bring her home safe. And if she`s watching, baby, I love you. I`ll never give up on you.


GRACE: And breaking news in the desperate search for a 2-year-old Florida girl, Caylee. Six months of searching culminates when skeletal remains found in a heavily wooded area just 15 houses from the Anthonys` home confirmed to be Caylee, manner of death homicide. A utility meter reader stumbles on a tiny human skeleton, including a skull covered in light-colored hair, the killer duct taping and placing a heart-shaped sticker directly over the mouth, then triple-bagging little Caylee like she`s trash.

Tonight, lawyers heading back to court to try and force brother Lee Anthony to answer questions he refuses to address during sworn testimony. What is it? The question? Who is Caylee`s biological father? Why won`t brother Lee just simply answer the question? What`s there to hide?

And still tonight, no answer. Is there a plea deal on the table, a deal for a lighter sentence for tot mom? The Orlando jail secretly recording tot mom privately meeting with her lawyer minutes after she watches live TV when Caylee`s skeleton discovered. Sources inside the investigation reveal tot mom looked, quote, "fidgety" during the coverage and downright hostile in that meeting moments later. Little did she know it was all caught on grainy surveillance video.

Tot mom`s lawyers fighting mad. They do not want the video released nor video questioning of the lady sheriff who was actually with tot mom the day little Caylee discovered. What can this lady sheriff reveal?


CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S MOTHER: She`s not far. I know in my heart she`s not far. I can feel it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found a human skull.

911 OPERATOR: Oh, my gosh. What`s the location?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right off of Suburban and Chickasaw in the Caylee Anthony area, right by the...



CUMMINGS: Is one of the possibilities that has gone through your mind that your sister was the one responsible for the disappearance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m instructing you not to answer that question.

CUMMINGS: Do you know who the father of Caylee...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. Certify.

LEE ANTHONY: ... with 100 percent...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have to answer that question.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m being watched at all times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This new video that we are learning about is Casey Anthony with her attorney, Jose Baez. Our sources are telling us that it appears Joe Baez is crying in this video, Casey Anthony with her arms crossed, looking away into the distance.

CASEY ANTHONY: We don`t want this to any longer be a tragedy.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Primetime exclusive. Police confirm no one, including Misty Croslin, the last person to see Haleigh alive, is cleared as a suspect. Tonight, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, not afraid to answer questions, with us live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A day after getting married in the back yard of his grandmother, Ronald and now Misty Cummings were in New York answering questions on national TV.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know what to make of it. It bothers me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the other issues brought up is Misty`s story about what happened that night here at the Cummings` home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty Croslin, now Misty Cummings, was the last who saw the 5-year-old.

MISTY CUMMINGS: (INAUDIBLE) and she`s gone. And that`s all I know!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has been questioned now for over 30 hours with detectives, and still no solid timeline.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her story`s changed several times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She doesn`t have an answer today. She didn`t have an answer the night that she reported the child missing. And I don`t think she`s going to have an answer in the future.

RONALD CUMMINGS: My daughter came up missing out of my house in the middle of the night.



MISTY CUMMINGS: I just woke up and my back door was all open, and I can`t find my daughter.

911 OPERATOR: OK, when did you last see her?

MISTY CUMMINGS: We were just, like -- you know, it was about 10:00 o`clock. She was sleeping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty at first said Haleigh was in bed with her, then changed that to say Haleigh was in her own bed.

MISTY CUMMINGS: I didn`t do anything to that little girl. I would never hurt her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police believe someone snatched the 5-year-old from her Satsuma home. They say, at this point, everyone`s a suspect.

RONALD CUMMINGS: Please, all I want is my child. That`s it. I just want my daughter back!


GRACE: Police reiterating no one has been cleared as a suspect in the disappearance of this 5-year-old Florida girl, little Haleigh. Tonight, not afraid to answer questions on camera, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings joining us in a primetime live exclusive. Also with him, Haleigh`s grandmother, Teresa Neves. You know Ms. Neves by now, appearing nearly every night, asking for your help in finding little Haleigh.

But first to T.J. Hart with WSKY 97.3. T.J., people are attacking the family, claiming there are inconsistencies in the baby-sitter`s -- now Ronald Cummings`s wife -- story. What are the inconsistencies in a nutshell?

T.J. HART, WSKY 97.3 FM: In a nutshell, it is basically the timeline of what time that -- who was in what bed and what time everything had took place, according the Putnam County sheriff`s office.

GRACE: I want to go to Ronald Cummings joining us tonight, he and his mother begging for your help in finding little Haleigh. Ronald, thank you for being with us -- to both of you. Ronald, as I see it, there are three main inconsistencies in Misty Croslin -- now Cummings -- statement. Number one, when she called police. Number two, why she went to a bathroom far away from where Haleigh was, as opposed to the one right there in the master bedroom. And possibly most significantly, an alleged inconsistency about where she was sleeping and where Haleigh was sleeping the night she was kidnapped.

Let`s take that one off the top. What did Misty tell you that night - - not later, but that night -- about where Haleigh was sleeping?

RONALD CUMMINGS: She told me that she was sleeping in the -- her and Junior were sleeping in my queen-size bed and that she was sleeping in the tot bed beside her.

GRACE: OK, and we have...

RONALD CUMMINGS: Three or four feet from her...

GRACE: ... gone into your home -- yes. Ronald, you have allowed...

RONALD CUMMINGS: So you know how far away it is.

GRACE: ... us into your home. We have that video. Elizabeth, let`s show exactly what Mr. Cummings is referring to. Now Ronald, how did it get so bassackwards that people construed it as them sleeping together in the same bed, Misty, Junior, your son, and Haleigh? How did that happen? How was that miscommunicated?

RONALD CUMMINGS: Ms. Nancy, I have no -- no answer for you. I don`t know how it was miscommunicated.

GRACE: Is that what she told police, Ronald? Did she tell police at any time that she was in the bed with little Haleigh?

RONALD CUMMINGS: I wasn`t there when she was questioned by police, Ms. Nancy.

GRACE: OK. Here`s the next question. Why didn`t she call cops immediately when she realized Haleigh was missing? Explain to us the timeline. What happened?

RONALD CUMMINGS: I pulled into the yard. The front door was wide open. She was standing in it. I asked her what she was doing up. She told me that the back door was wide open and Haleigh was gone. I turned the house upside-down and told her to call 911.

GRACE: And we have heard your 911 call. My third question -- why -- has she explained it to you why she didn`t go to the restroom in the middle of night right there in the bedroom`s attached bathroom? It`s kind of all one big, huge master bedroom. Why would she choose to crosses kitchen and go to a different bathroom?

RONALD CUMMINGS: I don`t know, Ms. Nancy. I`ve never really heard that side of the story, to be honest with you.

GRACE: Now, you want to clear up -- a lot of people are attacking you for going to New York for a honeymoon. Please, here`s your chance.

RONALD CUMMINGS: Absolutely. I went there for an exclusive with the "Today" show. I did not go there on a honeymoon at all. It was not a honeymoon at all. I went there for an exclusive with the "Today" show.

GRACE: Ronald, I know that you have been under attack. Misty Croslin Cummings has been under attack. Tonight, we are taking the viewer`s calls, Mr. Cummings not afraid to answer questions in front of the camera. And we are live. We`ll all be back in 30 seconds.


GRACE: Out to the lines. Terry in Florida. Hi, Terry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Something has been bothering me. If the story`s true that Misty was out partying and left the kids home alone, it`s possible Misty put the cement block by the back door so she could slip quietly back inside the house and not wake up the kids, but someone else could have gotten inside the house and took Haleigh before Misty got home.

GRACE: To Ronald Cummings, Haleigh`s father, who is with us tonight taking your calls live. Ronald, has the theory that Misty left the home some time during the night been disproved?

RONALD CUMMINGS: I`m not sure. I believe that it has, Nancy. I`m almost 100 percent sure, but I wouldn`t say that and lie to you. I`m pretty sure it has been disproved.

GRACE: Do you believe she left the home and left the children alone, Ronald?

RONALD CUMMINGS: Absolutely not.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty Croslin said that she realized that Haleigh was missing in the middle of the night when she woke up to use the bathroom. Now, there`s two bathrooms in the mobile home, one that is directly in the master bedroom and another one that is all the way across the living room.


RONALD CUMMINGS: I just got home from work. My 5-year-old daughter is gone! I need somebody to be here now!



MISTY CUMMINGS: I walked in the kitchen and the back door`s wide open. And (INAUDIBLE) and she`s gone. And that`s all I know!

RONALD CUMMINGS: Came home this morning to find out that I didn`t have a child! Somebody stole my child! It`s not like a bicycle or a car. Somebody stole my child from me!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The back door has two locks on the door. The second lock, which you would have to turn, is a tight lock, so it wouldn`t be likely that little Haleigh would have been able to turn the lock and then let herself out the door.


GRACE: And tonight, as Ronald Cummings still tries to find his little girl, he is now facing the possibility that his 4-year-old little boy will be taken away from him. That`s right, the mother, the biological mother, who does not have physical custody of the children, is now considering a custody battle.

We are taking your calls live. Joining me in a primetime exclusive tonight, Haleigh`s father and her paternal grandmother. We are taking your calls live.

Ronald Cummings, what do you make of the potential custody battle that you`re facing on top of everything else?

RONALD 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?


GRACE: Sure. Go ahead, Ms. Neves.

RONALD CUMMINGS: She`s not my former wife, Ms. Nancy. She`s not my former wife.

GRACE: Right.

NEVES: They were never married, so...

GRACE: Right. It`s the children`s mother.

RONALD CUMMINGS: August the 17th, her 2nd 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?

RONALD 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?

RONALD CUMMINGS: Do I have to answer that question?

GRACE: I mean, who`s got him? Who`s taking care of him?

RONALD CUMMINGS: My grandmother.

GRACE: Ms. 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 -- the reason what 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: To Marlaina Schiavo, our producer there at crime scene, joining us live from Satsuma, Florida. All right, the man`s got his daughter gone. He was at work on the night shift, like a lot of America is every night. Comes home, the daughter`s gone. Now, because of a county ordinance, they`re kicked out of their tents where they were being forced to live. Why?

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, you can`t -- you can`t camp on a parcel, Nancy. It has to be a designated campground. So they were given a timeline, and now they have to go.

GRACE: Well, excuse me, but Marlaina, were they bothering anybody? I mean, who cares?

SCHIAVO: Not at all. Not at all. It`s just a county ordinance. They wrote a letter to Ronald Cummings saying that they understand his circumstances, but by law, they have to vacate the premises. So they did, and now he`s staying with his grandmother and Teresa is staying in her home.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. But first to Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. He is also a crime victim. His daughter, Polly, was taken out of her home. She ended up being murdered. And since that time, he has been a tireless victims` right advocate.

Marc, a lot of concerns. Weigh in.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, first of all, Ron, my heart goes out to you, buddy. I know where you`re coming from and I know how you`re feeling right now.

But there`s a reality here that has to be dealt with, Nancy. Law enforcement runs parallel investigations in these cases. They`re investigating the family. They`re investigating friends, acquaintances, registered sex offenders. And then finally, they`re investigating the stranger scenario. And until they can eliminate the various players in that -- in those scenarios, they`re unable to then put the full force of their investigation towards what actually happened.

So it`s incumbent upon Misty -- and I think Ron has to impress this upon her -- to do whatever is necessary to eliminate her from suspicion, so law enforcement then can move forward. Otherwise this thing may never be solved, and certainly, that is not -- that`s not an acceptable conclusion to this case.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh, if you`re out there, Mommy loves you and your daddy loves you and we miss you and we`ll be right here for you!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the back door area, you can see that you have to walk up a ramp in order to get into the house. Now, what we do know is that Haleigh was afraid of the dark. And on both sides of the house, there is densely wooded area.



GRACE: Joining me tonight in a primetime exclusive, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, along with her grandmother, Teresa Neves, taking your calls live.

Ronald, one thing I want to clear up. I still don`t understand why she didn`t call 911 the minute she realized Haleigh was gone. Or was it a matter of timing?

RONALD CUMMINGS: I think she was still looking to make sure that Haleigh -- she wasn`t going to make a false 911 call. She was making sure that Haleigh was not, you know, up in the bathroom or in a...

GRACE: Got it.

RONALD CUMMINGS: ... got up and moved up to another room or whatever. You know, I think she was just being sure that...

GRACE: So when you pull up -- when you pull up, she`s still looking?


GRACE: OK. All right. I get it.

RONALD CUMMINGS: I told her to call 911 while I turned the house upside-down.

GRACE: I get.

RONALD CUMMINGS: You call 911, I`ll turn the house upside-down.

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Carmen St. George out of New York and returning tonight, triumphantly, from his battle against leukemia, attorney Richard Herman. Not going easy on you, Richard. Richard, welcome back.


GRACE: What about Misty Croslin, Herman?

HERMAN: Misty Croslin -- these are not inconsistencies, and if as Marc Klaas suggests, law enforcement are holding up their investigation because of what bathroom she went in or what bed she slept in, that is ridiculous! These are not inconsistencies. Law enforcement has to find this poor child.

GRACE: Carmen St. George, agree or disagree?

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree, Nancy. At the age of 17, some of us might be more advanced or have different experiences. At this point, I think that her story is really just that she did not know at that time...



TERESA NEVES, GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD, HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Haleigh`s one of them children who fills up a home with smiles and laughter. And you just couldn`t be without her. I know somebody took that little girl.

RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child out of my bed. This is my heart and somebody stole my heart from me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is just, basically, getting to be more than he can bear. I mean he -- he stood up to all the scaredness and, you know, being afraid and tired and not eating right and everything. It`s wearing him down.

CUMMINGS: Somebody, please, who last seen my daughter, I want her to come home. Please bring my daughter home and if you`re watching, I love you.

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER, SPENT TIME WITH MISSING HALEIGH`S FAMILY: Well, we`re standing right here, right beside me on -- on my left is the bedroom 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 3 1/2 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, 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.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: With us tonight in a primetime exclusive, Ronald Cummings, the father of little Haleigh, and her grandmother, Teresa Neves.

Ronald, I see you shaking your head, no, no, no. Why? Do you disagree?

CUMMINGS: Because we can go in that house right now where they -- we can go in -- yes, absolutely. I disagree. We can go in that house right now with a camera and turn that kitchen that light on. And from the bedroom you can see it. It don`t matter if you go to the bathroom that`s across the house or the one that`s in that bedroom. You can see that the kitchen light is on. It shines. It`s black in the house.

GRACE: You know I`m interested to hear that because when Marlaina was -- and Teresa Neves was giving us access to the home, I asked specifically was the bedroom door open. Do you sleep with the bedroom door open and they responded yes.


GRACE: So I assume.


GRACE: I assume that the kitchen light would come through the bedroom. I understand what you`re saying.

Everyone, Ronald Cummings, Teresa Neves taking your calls live.

Out to Michelle in Michigan, hi, Michelle.


GRACE: I`m good, dear, what`s your question?

MICHELLE: I was wondering now that Ron and Misty are married, can they be forced to testify against each other if there was foul play involved.

GRACE: To Marlaina Schiavo, our producer there at the crime scene, Satsuma, Florida. You know I heard it misstated, I believe, if I`m correct on the law, on the networks over the weekend. Isn`t there a caveat in Florida law? Typically husband/wife privilege. You can`t testify against each other.

But when it comes to the injury or the abuse of a child, I don`t believe the husband/wife privilege applies in Florida. Yes? No?

SCHIAVO: Yes, Nancy, you`re correct.


SCHIAVO: And anything said before the marriage is admissible.

GRACE: Thank you. That was my next question, Marlaina.

So Michelle in Michigan, contrary to a lot of haters that are claiming the two got married to avoid testifying at trial, incorrect. In Florida, when it comes to the welfare of a child, you can`t claim marital privilege.

Now the whole thing about marrying a 17-year-old has come up repeatedly. You know what? That`s a whole another kettle of fish to fry, all right? Let`s worry about bringing Haleigh home first. Then we can address the teen marriage.

Back to the lines. Lili in Louisiana, hi, Lilly.

LILI, CALLER FROM LOUISIANA: Hi, Nancy, how you doing?

GRACE: I`m very disturbed about this case because a month has passed and still no leads in the search for Haleigh. What is your question, dear? And hello to all of our Cajun friends.

LILI: I agree with you. And mine is more of a statement. Have they checked out the person that rented the trailer before? Because they would know where the cinder block is. They might even have a key to the deadbolt. They know where the light is and the switch to the light of the kitchen.

GRACE: OK. Lili, you might need a second job as a private I.

To Ronald Cummings. Ronald, isn`t the previous owner the reverend?

CUMMINGS: As I believe it is the reverend`s mother and father. And I think they deceased here in the home. I`m not sure. You would have to ask them. But I do know that I personally went to Wal-Mart and bought the deadbolts and the locks that were on there so nobody else had a key to this house.

GRACE: OK, because I believe that he told me, the former owner, the reverend, that he had placed a lock on that back door but you also placed locks as well, correct? Got it.

CUMMINGS: Yes, ma`am, they were there. I took them off and put my own on.

GRACE: To Barbara.

CUMMINGS: I don`t want nobody to have keys in my house because I didn`t want this to happen.

GRACE: To Barbara in Massachusetts, hi, Barbara.

BARBARA, CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Nancy. This is an answer to prayer. I`ve been trying to get you for a month.

GRACE: Thank you.

BARBARA: I just have -- oh, I love you. I just have a quick comment and then a question. I just want to say that the answer to this mystery is the deadbolt and access to it. And I want to say that Misty said there were three men there that night. I think it was a nephew, cousin, a -- an air-conditioning repairman.

But anyway, any one of them could have unlocked that deadbolt, slipped her a sedative and left the house and come back later and gone in and gotten the child. I think it`s someone that knew them. I think it had to be someone who was there in the house that night.

And I`ve called the tip line and I`ve talked to detectives. This is how disturbed I am for this little girl.

GRACE: Let`s go to the source and find out. To Marlaina Schiavo, joining us from Satsuma.

Marlaina, who was in the home that evening?

SCHIAVO: Misty was in the home with the two children that evening, Nancy.

GRACE: Had there been visitors prior to that?

SCHIAVO: She had a cousin visiting from out of town earlier. And so he was in the home at some point, but we`re still trying to figure out exactly how that`s all pieced together, Nancy.

GRACE: To Teresa Neves, Haleigh`s grandmother. Miss Neves, are you aware of anyone else in the home that evening? I don`t mean when they all go to bed, I mean earlier that evening.

NEVES: I heard there was a repairman there. My mother was actually over.

GRACE: I`m sorry, I couldn`t hear you. There was a repairman there. The cousin was there who police have investigated.

NEVES: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Who else?

NEVES: My mother came by that night.

GRACE: For what reason?

CUMMINGS: My cousin went in there.

NEVES: She brought some clean clothes over.


NEVES: She had some of the kid`s clothes at her house and she had washed them and brought them over. That was sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. that night.

GRACE: Miss Neves, what do you say to those viewers that are disturbed about your son marrying a 17-year-old girl? Did her parents consent to the marriage?

NEVES: Yes, ma`am, they did.

GRACE: And to Brian Russell. Dr. Brian Russell, psychologist joining us out of Atlanta. Dr. Russell, look, nobody is -- to my knowledge -- not many people, are for teen marriage. All right? But are we getting sidetracked? Isn`t that a collateral issue?

They can`t claim husband privilege -- husband/wife privilege against each other in court. So can we -- can we just burn that bridge when we get there?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, you`re absolutely right, Nancy. All the research indicates it`s not best for the longevity and the stability of the marriage but you`re right, it is a sideshow to the main event which is trying to find this missing little girl.

I would be interested to know from Ron, though, whether he thought maybe -- whether the two of them might have thought there was any legal advantage to being married. Even though we know you and I know there was not.

GRACE: OK. Ronald Cummings, has anyone suggested to you that you married Misty so you two would not have to testify against each other if there`s ever a trial?

CUMMINGS: Absolutely not, Nancy.

GRACE: You know, the other night I had your -- the children`s biological mother on. And excuse me, I had her lawyer on. And she suggested that you had a history of dating teenagers. True/false?

CUMMINGS: I have dated teenagers in my time, yes, true.

GRACE: And your age is 25?


GRACE: How long have you two known each other before you married?

CUMMINGS: Seven, eight months.

GRACE: Why did police take your back door off the hinges and take it away, Ronald?

CUMMINGS: I`m not sure. They took it for some further investigation. I think the locks and everything. They want to check some things that those -- you would have to ask them, the investigators on that one, Miss Nancy.

GRACE: Is -- and Ronald, is your new wife, Misty Croslin-Cummings, willing to speak to police again?

CUMMINGS: Yes, anytime. We`re all willing to speak to police. All we want is Haleigh back.

GRACE: Everybody, taking your calls live tonight. Haleigh`s father and grandmother. As we go to break, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for a Florida friend of the show, Robbie Lewis.

Robbie, you are beautiful. Stay strong.



SCHIAVO: Let me 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 up the back door and here`s the back screen door. The one that was propped open with the cinder block, OK? Now if you see, when it closed, it slams. It makes a loud noise. But if you leave this door, this slowly closes as well.


GRACE: Joining me tonight in a primetime exclusive, Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, and her grandmother, Teresa Neves.

We are taking your calls live. Out to Mary in Kentucky. Hi, dear.


GRACE: I`m sorry, repeat.

MARY: My question to you is at 15, 16 years old I baby-sat, I`m a mother of five, grandmother of 11. And whenever I have children around and they sleep in my bed, or I`m sleeping with them, I will go -- I don`t go to the bathroom in my bedroom. I always go out into the hallway because I don`t want to wake them flushing the toilets.

GRACE: And what`s your question?

MARY: Well, I`m -- yes, I just don`t understand why they`re making such a big deal about that because that just seems like a common courtesy.

GRACE: OK. Why are they making a big deal about it? I don`t know. I think that it was construed as an inconsistency at some point. People thought it may not make any sense. Maybe they`re not the grandmother of 11 like yourself. So maybe the cops were suspicion.

Next question. Sheeba, Illinois, hi, Sheeba.

SHEEBA, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Nancy. We just love you. God bless for everything you do.

GRACE: Thank you.

SHEEBA: My question is, if the kitchen light were on, would Haleigh have walked out with like a stranger, or would it be more probable that the little thing would have walked out with someone she knew?

GRACE: What about it, Ronald Cummings? How was she with strangers? With my twins, John David will go to anybody. Lucy will hardly go to anybody. How was Haleigh?

CUMMINGS: Haleigh would not just go to anybody. She will only go to the people who she knows.

GRACE: I find it hard to believe she wouldn`t have cried out, if it had not been somebody she knew. Ron?

CUMMINGS: It could have, Nancy. It could have, Nancy. There`s a -- I don`t know. I can`t -- I have no answers. I wish I did. If I had answers, I obviously wouldn`t be sitting here.

GRACE: But you know what, on the other hand, you know when I get home from work every night I pick each one of the twins up where from where they`re sleeping and I carry them over and put them in their cribs. They never wake up. They never wake up. So that`s a whole another aspect.

What about it, Marc Klaas?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: I think that`s absolutely correct. If she was a very sound sleeper, she could have been anywhere before she woke up. Or whoever took her, could have placed their hand over her mouth. Could have placed an object. Could have placed chloroform over her mouth as we know has happened in other cases.

I think that this is just a big open question until this case is resolved.

GRACE: You know, Marc, Marc, I`ve got so many issues. If there are inconsistencies with Misty Croslin-Cummings` statement, that`s a problem. On the other hand, she is young. She is unsophisticated. And those inconsistencies may be due to semantics. Just wording. So I hate to jump on the bandwagon, you know, when they`re suffering and attack the family, that`s so easy to attack them.

KLAAS: Well, I don`t think that I was just attacking the family. I think I was trying to play out a couple of scenarios.

GRACE: Not you.

KLAAS: But, but.

GRACE: Not you. I`m asking you your thoughts on whether it`s conceivable that her inconsistencies were actually innocent.

KLAAS: Anything is possible. But I would -- I would caution everybody to understand that law enforcement has a massive task force working this case. And probably some of the best minds in the country on child abduction are involved and I don`t think that there -- it is anything eye -- I don`t think that it`s any mistake that after Misty.


KLAAS: . for the last four, five weeks have said that she`s passed her test and she`s not under suspicion that she all of a sudden admits that there are inconsistencies and that law enforcement confirms that. I think that there are real reasons for having done that.

GRACE: Marc Klaas, I agree. John Lucich, weigh in.

JOHN LUCICH, INVESTIGATOR, AUTHOR OF "CYBER LIES": Look, I think a big part of why they took that door was to start looking at the inconsistencies in the statement. Was that door locked? Was there marks from the outside?

I think what they`re trying to do now, instead of like, Marc said before, when we have to -- when they cannot remove people from the investigation, that just takes too much time going in all of these different directions.

I think what they`re trying do is remove the world now and saying, let`s look inside of this trailer and see what happened. And I think that has a lot to do why -- because they`re going to be able to show that this place was not broken into, it was locked. Then it had to be somebody in the inside.

GRACE: And you know, Lucich, when you can`t clear somebody, you have to keep going back and back and back to them. Going over and over and over the statement.

Tonight Ronald Cummings stating his wife is willing to go back to police and answer questions again.

To Dr. Zhongxue Hua, Union County, New Jersey medical examiner. Dr. Hua, thank you for being with us. What is the very best forensic evidence investigators could hope to get right now?

DR. ZHONGXUE HUA, UNION CO., N.J. MEDICAL EXAMINER: Probably not as this. I mean all of the important forensic evidence should be collected early on, early stage of this investigation. I mean you`re looking for any fiber, any hair follicles, any DNA evidence, (INAUDIBLE) and also -- obviously you`re looking for any prints, fingerprints inside the door also inside the apartment.

GRACE: To Ronald Cummings, Haleigh`s father. Ronald, if you can make a plea now, what would it be? What would you say? Would you say?

CUMMINGS: Bring my little girl home, please, whoever`s got her, bring her home. I`ll give you everything I`ve got to bring my daughter home.

GRACE: What is your day like now, Ronald? How do you start it? How do you end it?

CUMMINGS: Kissing my son good night in the bed with me.

GRACE: Miss Neves, how do you start your day? How do you end it?

NEVES: Praying for Haleigh, pray that she`s returned alive. Pray that God will just show somebody somewhere something that brings her home.



LEE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S BROTHER: She could have told me that she was with anybody, you know, at that point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it your impression that night that she was making it up, or did you believe that to be true?

ANTHONY: To this day, I believe everything that my sister tells me.


GRACE: Straight out to Kathi Belich with WFTV, what`s the latest in the tot mom case?

KATHI BELICH, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE WFTV, COVERING STORY: Well, Lee Anthony`s attorney filed some paperwork today in court and basically he said that he doesn`t want Lee Anthony to have to answer the two questions about who Caylee`s father is, as well as whether he believes that Casey could have been involved in her death.

He doesn`t think one of those questions is relevant, and he believes that -- his opinion about his -- about his sister`s guilt is not relevant and says that whoever Caylee`s father is, it really has nothing to do with the case. There`s going to be a hearing in May.

GRACE: To Drew Petrimoulx with WDBO, if he knows who the father is, why not avoid all the attorney bills? If the father really died in a car crash, why can`t he just say so? What`s the problem, Drew?

DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO, COVERING STORY: Well, what`s interesting right before his lawyer cut him off and did not let him answer that question, he said I do not know for 100 percent. So if you believe what he said before his lawyer cut him off, he doesn`t exactly know who the father of Caylee is.

GRACE: And quickly, Drew Petrimoulx, a lady sheriff was with tot mom when she found out Caylee had been found. Did she give sworn deposition testimony?

PETRIMOULX: Apparently did. Her name is Lt. Tammy Unser and apparently she did speak with prosecutors in this case and it`s just for us to find out what is actually she said. That hasn`t come out yet.

GRACE: Of course the defense is trying to stop that video deposition from being released as well.

Kathi Belich, Drew Petrimoulx, thank you.

Let`s stop and remember Marine Colonel Michael Stahlman, 45, Chevy Chase, Maryland, killed Iraq. One of the highest ranking officers to die in Iraq. Awarded the Navy Marine Corps commendation medal, Army Achievement Medal and Navy Marine Corps achievement medal.

A U.S. Naval Academy grad, also earned a law degree. He`s leaving behind grieving widow Kim, two daughters.

Michael Stahlman, American hero.

Thanks to our guests, but especially to you. And a special good night tonight from Georgia friends of the show, Chris, Bobby, a film student, and Rod, a cancer survivor who owns Bloom`s Floral Designs right here in Atlanta.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.