Journalist Art Harris: holes in Haleigh Cummings family stories: updated May 25, 2011
By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
After more than two years after what police are calling the unsolved murder of five year old Haleigh Cummings, The Bald Truth reported new exclusive details like a second Misty Croslin brother who allegedly flunked a polygraph following four flubs by the former 17 year old babysitter and brother Tommy, who also flunked a lie detector test that sparked his wife, Lindsy to file for divorce. That from our sources close to the investigation.
Not much has changed since we first reported it on HLN’s Nancy Grace show in March, but law enforcement sources tell The Bald Truth there are new questions surrounding what, if any role, Misty brother, Timmy, and his wife, Chelsea, may have played the night Haleigh vanished.
Both deny any wrongdoing or knowledge of what happened, but Chelsea Croslin recently retracted her long and vocal belief to us that a Tennessee cousin who spent that night at their home took her van after a call came into her cell phone from Misty about 10 p.m. Feb. 9, 2009.
At the time, she detailed for The Bald Truth how cousin Joe Overstreet took the call, that she and Timmy went to bed–he was groggy from pain pills prescribed after a collision with an uninsured drunk driver — and woke up to find the van parked in a different spot, keys to it moved from the usual spot and Joe asleep fully clothed, when he usually slept in boxers, she told me at the time.
It was only after we exclusively reported sources close to the investigation telling us Tommy Croslin had instructed Misty to make up the cousin Joe Overstreet tossed Haleigh in the St. John’s River story, another Croslin family hoax, and that brother, Timmy had failed a polygraph, that Chelsea retracted her cousin Joe accusation. For months, she and other family members had told us cousin Joe did it…until we found a family member who had talked with Overstreet and reported otherwise.
What Joe purportedly revealed seemed shocking, contradicting Chelsea’s earlier detailed account: that he never took the van, that it was Tommy and Chelsea who responoded to the Misty 911 family call, and that he’d stayed behind. Say what?
That raised new questions whether Chelsea and husband Timmy may have driven the van to the trailer that night, NOT Joe, as she had asserted, or perhaps gone together. Did they assist in a cover-up? Maybe help clean up a crime scene?
Chelsea denies any wrongdoing, and once said she’d take a polygraph –“Strap me up”– and produce husband Timmy to take a folow up poly as well. We offered to arrange it, but it hasn’t happened.
She also said she’d cooperate with police, but would refuse any “interrogations.”
A private investigator Chelsea claimed was working for her, but who denied any professional ties told us she had reached out to out of state police on her behalf, and relayed that Cheshea was willing to participate in an undercover Misty prison sting for Haleigh information, if Florida investigators requested it, and outstanding arrest warrants for her in Virginiai were dropped.
According to Tina Church, a private investigator who told us she’d volunteered briefly to help Chelsea get to the bottom of her legal troubles. said Chelsea never followed up. Fresh to the case, she told us she also offered to check rumors Haleigh had been spotted alive in Kentucky along with the credibility of purported photos of Haleigh strangers sent Misty in prison–that our FBI sources debunked and we exposed as a hoax.
It was Chelsea who sounded what police and the FBI tell artharris.com exclusively were false alarms. She called from Florida to pitch The Bald Truth and other journalists the claim Haleigh was alive, held against her will in Kentucky, that photos sent to Misty in prison proved it. We found no one close to the case, even some family, who felt it looked like Haleigh.
She did however manage to entice one disreputable blogger (who requests donations) into spinning another bogus tale, a Haleigh case groupie dismissed by law enforcement officials as a prevaricator and a nuisance and who profiler Pat Brown describes as an online “terrorist,” paranoid and obsessed like a growing number on the internet fringe drawn to missing child cases. In an on going dispute with the mother of his six year old son, local police in Minnesota report numerous complaints for harrassment and defamation, despite an affadavit he filed with a local judge in a custody dispute claiming none.
Investigators say they have wasted 100s of hours and taxpayer dollars debunking such claims, but are committed to sorting through them all — more than 5,000 tips to date– in their effort to solve what they are calling a tragic child murder, and have not wavered in their claims Misty Croslin and those close to her know more than has been revealed.
No one has been arrested or charged with Haleigh’s murder, and Misty Croslin maintains she has no idea what happened that night. Still police say she’s the “key” to unlocking the mystery, along with those close to her, and that they won’t give up until they bring a killer to justice.