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Ronald Cumming's Attorney: Father Still Has Hope Tip Was False Lead

5:42 PM, Apr 17, 2010   |    comments
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PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- While boats and divers scoured the St. Johns River this week near Satsuma, detectives met with Haleigh Cummings' family.

Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings, was walked out of jail for a while so detectives could also update him on the search for his missing daughter.

His attorney, Terry Shoemaker, told First Coast News that Cummings and his family were advised to make funeral arrangements.

"Yeah, you can understand how Ron would be shocked at that because he's hoping it ends, but still holding hope that maybe they're wrong that maybe something else happened and this will end up as another false lead," Shoemaker said.

Earlier this week, Flora Hollars -- the grandmother of Cummings' ex-wife Misty Croslin - spoke about the case. Hollars claimed Misty and her brother told her their cousin -- Joe Overstreet -- took the little girl.

Shoemaker said Cummings does not know Joe Overstreet well, but had suspected Overstreet since day one.

"He's not surprised," Shoemaker said, "and [Cummings] said if you go back and listen to the 911 tape he made a comment that night about "Cousin Joe.""

First Coast News has reviewed the 911 tape released by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.  First Coast News cannot make out where Cummings mentions "Cousin Joe" Overstreet. However, some of the 911 call may have been redacted.

Meanwhile, Overstreet maintained his innocence this week.

Overstreet told First Coast News' Jackelyn Barnard "I didn't do it."

Three days of searching the St. Johns River turned up items that need to be tested in labs as evidence in the case.  Shoemaker said Saturday that Cummings believes Haleigh was placed in the river.

"I think he has a pretty good idea that's what transpired," Shoemaker said.

However, investigators and the sheriff have not confirmed what really happened to the little girl.

First Coast News

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