PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Haleigh Cummings' great grandmother said she will continue to pray for Haleigh's safe return until police can prove the 5-year-old is no longer alive. Today, Sheriff Jeff Hardy said in a news conference that police believe Haleigh is dead.
"We fully believe that until (investigators) can show us proof that Haleigh is dead, she will remain alive (to us)," Annette Sykes said, adding that faith in God keeps them hopeful.
Police gave the family the news Tuesday and in the days since, relatives have watched the St. Johns River search on television. They were surprised to see Misty Croslin led to the site Wednesday.
"We were not aware that she was down there! So, it was a shock to us as well as everyone else," Sykes said.
Police said Croslin is the last person known to have seen Haleigh.
Hardy announced today in a news conference that items found during the search may or may not be related to the case. He added they will be taken to several independent labs for testing.
Sykes said Croslin has answers and Joe Overstreet, Croslin's Tennessee cousin who also was questioned, might know more, too.
"Well, I mean, he was down here when it all happened. And he went right back up there. (Investigators) questioned him, a few weeks after, I'm not real sure. I know they did question him," said Sykes, adding that Overstreet was released from police custody more than a year ago.
She added until Haleigh is found, she will leave her porch light on.
"I left it on because I hoped and prayed that someone would let her out, and she could find her way with the light on. It will stay on until she comes home," Sykes said.
First Coast News