Estranged and sometimes feuding relatives of a missing Florida 5-year-old have resolved to bury their differences and work together to find the girl who has been the subject of a massive manhunt.
“Instead of being apart, we’re pulling together, because we just think we need to be united,” Crystal Cummings, the aunt of 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings, told TODAY’s David Gregory Monday from Palatka, Fla. “We need to be together, work together, and maybe something good will come out of this. We’re hoping for the best.”
Haleigh was reported missing early in the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 10. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel and volunteers spent the week searching the area around the remote double-wide mobile home where she lived with her father, Ronald; her 4-year-old brother, Ronald Jr.; and her father’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Misty Croslin.
Setting differences aside
Haleigh’s father and mother, Crystal Sheffield, are estranged, and their families had exchanged nasty allegations during the week. But on Saturday, as the massive manhunt wound down and the local sheriff’s department began investigating 500 leads it had received, the clans came together at a prayer vigil.
Crystal Cummings told Gregory that the family accepts the sheriff’s decision to call off the intensive search and turn to criminal investigation. “We’re not real happy about that, but they’re really doing all that they can do right now.”
Meanwhile, the family can do little but watch and hope. “We’re just hoping something will come out of the leads they have,” she said. “We’re praying.”