By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) artharris.com, all rights reserved
The Bald Truth has learned exclusively why detectives took Misty out to the dock on the St. John’s River in mid-Aprilâ€”to see if she could identify it as the same dock she claimed her brother, Tommy, showed her in December as the spot he’d allegedly used to help a Tennessee cousin dump five year old Haleigh Cummings in the cold, murky water.
“A month before she was arrested for drug trafficking, Tommy walked her to a boat ramp and said, â€˜This is where we got rid of the body,” a source familiar with her disclosure to police tells me in an exclusive interview. “They wanted to see if she could give them any details that might back up her dock story.”
It’s unclear if she made a positive ID of the dock, or one that would stand up in court after so many lies. Her brother, Tommy, denies it ever happened.
Indeed, truth, the whole truth, and nothing but The Bald Truth has been elusive in this baffling 14 month mystery of a missing and presumed murdered five year old girl–and extracting it from a notorious Florida clan of alleged swamp thugs, pill-poppers and drug dealers, investigators tell, us has been tougher than pulling teeth from an alligator. So many have lied, or can’t recall what happened; stories seem to change faster than the swift currents of the St. John’s River.
Flanked by investigators, Misty looked out at the murky waters that day, an area her brother Tommy had directed police to search for Haleigh’s body three days earlier, on April 12, according to James Werter, his St. Augustine, Fla. attorney.
On The Nancy Grace Show Tuesday night, Werter said his client could identify the killer, but stopped short of revealing more.
Asked about Misty’s claim, that Tommy took her to the dock and confided he’d helped cousin Joe Overstreet get rid of the body, Werter told The Bald Truth, “it never happened. Tommy says she’s lying.”
Robert Fields, Misty’s lawyer, declined to comment on her claim, but told me he believed her. A call for comment by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department was not returned by deadline. Flora Hollars claims her grandchildren told her what happened and she believes they’re all involved in the Haleigh’s kidnapping, killing and cover-up.
At a recent press conference, Sheriff Jeff Hardy said, he’s confident in calling the case a homicide investigation based on information obtained over the past few weeks. “People are starting to cooperate” and talk, he said, though he did not name anyone, adding investigators are “working on building a case.”
As for Misty Croslin, the last person to see Haleigh the night she vanished, the sheriff said she’s been acting calmer; he has not disclosed why investigators brought her to the river. “I think she’s beginning to realize she’s in big trouble,” he said.
Misty claims she’s now telling all she knows, and held onto the deadly secret because Cousin Joe held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her and her family. He denies any involvement. She also wrote two letters from jail we first reported that indicated Tommy and Joe had gotten rid of Haleigh.
Such claims and revelations, including our story that she told police Tommy took her to the boat ramp to show her the dumping spot raises the big question: is Misty throwing her brother further under the bus to save herself?
Investigators were upbeat when they got the tip that led to the river, because they’d never searched the remote area before. Chelsea Croslin tells me that it’s also one of few areas cousin Joe would know, because he’s never spent more than a couple of weeks with them here and there over the years. It’s not far from where Tommy and Misty’s parents once lived, at 130 Magnolia.
Past their old house, further down rural Road 309 is the Shell Harbour Road boat ramp that Hardy is now calling a possible crime scene.
On Wednesday afternoon, April 15, Misty Cummings was seen on the dock at the river talking with investigators. Now we can report why.
NEXT: BALD TRUTH EXCLUSIVE —ANOTHER CROSLIN CHANGES HIS STORY!!