Speculation that an arrest had been made swept the community Tuesday.
Telephone calls from Haleigh’s relatives, curious residents and the news media flooded the sheriff’s office Tuesday afternoon, Greenwood said.
The trigger appeared to be a report from an Ocala radio station that linked a drug suspect’s return to jail to the Haleigh case.
“They are unrelated,” Greenwood said. “It’s not linked to the Haleigh Cummings case.”
The subject of the radio station’s report was 18-year-old Kristina Renee Prevatt, who was arrested on a cocaine charge April 20 and bonded out of jail about 10 hours later by William Staubs, a bounty hunter and private investigator who says he is working on the Haleigh case.
Staubs returned Prevatt to jail Tuesday afternoon and invited T. J. Hart, program director of WSKY in Ocala, to come along.
Hart did a live broadcast from outside the county jail in Palatka reporting “a person of interest” was being “brought in.”
Interviewed by telephone later, Hart said Prevatt “has been cited as a person of interest to the case by some people” he said were “other investigators.”
Hart said he was specific with his report.
“We never used the word arrest,” he said.
A South Florida bounty hunter involved in the search for Haleigh Cummings was charged Friday with falsely imprisoning a man who was free on bail on a child-sex charge.
William Eugene Staubs, 51, who goes by the name “Cobra,” was arrested after police said he handcuffed 55-year-old Daniel Everett Snodgrass March 20 and held him against his will.