There are 44 registered sex offenders who live within a 5-mile radius of the Satsuma, Fl. home where Haleigh Cummings lives with her father and her father’s girlfriend. There is no way of knowing how many unregistered offenders live there.
TALLAHASSEE— Just two years after the high-profile murders of Carlie Brucia and Jessica Lunsford prompted a new law requiring probation officers to more closely watch for violators, the Department of Corrections announced that 66 of them lost their jobs Thursday.
The layoffs target those with less than a year of service and represent a 3 percent reduction in the probation officer force statewide, including six in the Tampa Bay area and 22 in South Florida. The cuts stem from last year’s budgetary cuts to the prison system, which is facing a $28-million hole in its balance sheet.
“I truly regret having to take this action, but we have no other options given the current budget situation,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil.
Cutting probation officers statewide “minimizes the impact to public safety,” said spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.
Are we left to hope they are right?
Why are authorities stating 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings wouldn’t wander off yet 6-year-old Adji Desir might have? After all, Adji allegedly is developmentally disabled and has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. The FDLE and FBI are inolved in both cases.
She may not have wandered off at night because she is said to be afraid of the dark, however, according to this Central Florida News 13 article, she has strayed before.
Crystal Sheffield, Haleigh’s mother, admits the girl has wandered off before and was found in a canal.
“It wasn’t like she wandered out. I mean, we were getting ready to leave. I told her father to get her and put her in the car. I had already put Junior, the baby, in the car. I went back in to get the bags and the baby’s stuff. I come out, Haleigh was not in the car, and I ran straight down to the canal, and that’s where she was,” Sheffield said.
One of the people reaching out to the family of Haleigh Cummings is Josh Duckett whose son Trenton Duckett was believed by some to have been abducted from his room while his mother Melinda was in an adjacent room. George Anthony, the grandfather of murdered Caylee, is also reaching out though the circumstances regarding both childrens disappearances vary greatly.
Authorities are saying they have interviewed most of the sex offenders in the area with no “suspects” however, it wasn’t too long ago, February 2005, that John Evander Couey kidnapped, raped, and murdered nine-year old Jessica Lunsford in in Florida. He too was initially interviewed by police but it took three weeks before his atrocities were discovered. He now sits on death row. You can only pray that Haleigh has not met a similar fate.
Police say Cummings, just like Lunsford was abducted from her bedroom in the early hours of the morning. And just like in Jessie’s case, authorities are combing the area surrounding her house hoping to find any trace of the 5 year old.
As the hours pass, Haleigh’s face is becoming more and more familiar. Police hope that will help bring her home. Lunsford hopes for the same. Though he says there’s little he can do to ease the pain of a father searching for his little girl, he makes it clear Cummings has his support.
“Just hang in there man. You’ve got a long ways to go and there’s a fight. There’s fight and there’s a fight when it’s all done too. I hope to see you there,” offers Lunsford.
In 2007, John Couey was convicted of Jessica’s abduction and rape and sentenced to death. Lunsford has since lobbied for the Jessica Lunsford Act which toughens laws regarding sex offenders. It was passed in 2005.
Police searching for missing 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings were notified about a missing Florida sex offender, but stopped short of calling the man a suspect in the girl’s disappearance, Ocala.com reports.Chad Eugene Reynolds, 25, was last seen Feb. 1 leaving his mother’s home in Ochlawaha, Fla. — about two hours from Haleigh’s home — police said. He was reported missing on Feb. 4.
Reynolds reportedly borrowed a car from a friend and then later called to say the vehicle had broken down near the Marion/Lake County Lines, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The car was located in an undisclosed location south of Marion County, but Reynolds was nowhere to be found.
Reynolds was sentenced in Putnum County — the same county where Haleigh was reported missing Feb. 10 — to seven years in prison for armed burglary and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child younger than 12. The incident happened in September of 2002.
MSNBC Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rick Ryan
Ryan dismissed reports that a missing or absconded sexual predator from nearby Marion County was connected to Haleigh’s disappearance. While a warrant is out for the arrest of Chad Reynolds, Ryan said deputies checked out reports that the offender had connections or family ties in Putnam County and found them unfounded.
Update 02-16-09: Fire guts Fla. trailer where Jessica Lunsford died
HOMOSASSA, Fla. — A suspicious fire has burned down a Florida mobile home where 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was raped and murdered four years ago this month
The crime by a repeat sex offender prompted lawmakers in Florida and other states to pass Jessica’s Law, a set of stricter rules for tracking and convicting sex offenders.
Update 02-19-02: Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has made an arrest of a sexual predator, Timothy Randolph Loucakis. They said he is not presently a suspect but was in violation of his GPS monitoring boundaries. The residencial address he lists which is at the National Sex Offenders Registry is approximately .8 mile from Haleighs home.
There was also a possible sighting of Haleigh outside Knoxville, Tn