Misty Croslin’s sentence

I found this article which provides more info on Misty Croslin’s sentencing. (There’s also this article with pictures.) She got 25 years for a single count of trafficking Oxycodone. The girl is only 18 (maybe 19 now, not sure), and she’s facing similar charges in another county and therefore more time. It’ll probably be concurrent to the first sentence, but still.

I will be the first to say that I have no sympathy for Misty. She had a very sad, deprived childhood and suffered abuse. This is unfortunate, but plenty of people go through that and don’t do the things she has done. I think she was up to her neck in the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings and has been lying about it ever since. I think she is a drug dealer — pretty dumb of her to say otherwise, when it was caught on tape. But 25 years for a single non-violent drug charge is ridiculous. And the first article said it’s the minimum time allowed, since the judge didn’t want to sentence her as a youthful offender.

I haven’t been able to find out how long Misty would have to serve before she becomes eligible for parole, but they aren’t handing out parole like they used to anymore. Her life is pretty much over now, even if she never faces any charges for Haleigh.

UPDATE: Okay, found Misty’s date of birth: December 9, 1991. She is 18.

Misty Croslin gets 25 years

According to 48 Hours, Misty Croslin, one-time stepmother of Haleigh Cummings and now a suspect in her disappearance, got 25 years for charges in unrelated drug trafficking case. Misty is only, I think, 19 years old. All the other parties in the case — including Haleigh’s father Ronald (Misty’s ex-husband), Misty’s brother Tommy, Ronald’s cousin, and a friend — have gotten 15 years. I wonder why Misty got more time. Her status as a suspect in Haleigh’s disappearance might be the reason — though, officially, the one case should not be connected to the other.

Misty and Tommy Croslin’s mother talks

I found this interview with Lisa Croslin, mother of Misty and Tommy Croslin and onetime step-grandmother of Haleigh Cummings. Lisa and her husband Hank were jailed on drug charges (unrelated to their children’s drug case) and Hank is still in jail, but Lisa has been released and is now living in an undisclosed location. Lisa’s statements, and Lisa herself, are only tangentially connected to Haleigh’s case, but I think they’re worth looking at anyway. This is apparently the first time she’s spoken to the media, and it’s only on the Blogger News Network, not on, say, Nancy Grace’s show.

In fact, Lisa seems to have joined the legion of Nancy Grace haters, saying Nancy unfairly targeted her kids: “Nancy Grace opens her mouth before she gets evidence and continually drags us to the ground.” I agree with that statement in principle, but as I am not blinded by mother-love, it seems highly unlikely to me that the younger Croslins are innocent of involvement (or at least guilty knowledge) in Haleigh’s disappearance.

Lisa says she has been unable to visit her husband or either of her children, she has no documents and she can’t even leave the county until her fines are paid. She says she was released from jail with nothing, not even any street clothes, which I can believe. She also thinks 15 years for non-violent drug offenses (that’s what Tommy got, and what Misty will probably get) is unfair when you can get that, or less, for killing someone. I would agree with that.

This editorial says Lisa and Hank aren’t drug dealers and were arrested because they were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” That Hank, at least, is or was a user is a fact; he has said so himself. But a lot of people, including me, have used drugs, and that doesn’t make them bad people.

Lisa says wants to get out of her former life and the drug culture, but she needs help in order to succeed. Not knowing much about Lisa’s background and her skills (employment history, education, etc), I won’t comment on that other than to say I think people who’ve been in trouble with the law and genuinely wish to clean their act up should be given assistance.

The Haleigh Cummings clusterbomb continues

I found a good article giving the latest news on Haleigh Cummings. Everyone is hoping that, now that all the persons of interest are behind bars, maybe someone will provide actual evidence as to the little girl’s fate instead of more lies. Quote from the article, from a law professor: “Some people take their secrets to the grave. Some people, when those cold steel doors close behind them, start singing like a magpie.” Another quote from a different source: “Once reality sets in and they say, oh boy, 15 years is a long time and 25 years is a long time, I think that will be a great motivator to try to rehash their plea agreement.”

The latest story is that Misty’s cousin Joe Overstreet came to the home that night looking to steal a machine gun that wasn’t there, and when he couldn’t find it he got mad and took Haleigh instead. He and Misty’s brother Tommy drove to the St. John’s River and threw Haleigh in the water.

The story makes no sense. Why would Overstreet take Haleigh just because he couldn’t find a gun? Why would he kill her? Why would Misty and Tommy wait so long to come forward with this information? Why didn’t the police find anything when they searched the river for Haleigh’s remains?

Ronald has agreed to testify in any future criminal proceedings about Haleigh’s disappearance. However, of the lot of them, Ronald is the one person whom I think might actually not know anything. He definitely wasn’t there the night Haleigh disappeared, and as dysfunctional as he is, it does look like he loves his children.

Misty Croslin pleads no contest in drug case

Eighteen-year-old Misty Croslin, girlfriend-then-wife-now-divorcee of Ronald Cummings and person of interest in the disappearance of Ronald’s daughter Haleigh, has pleaded no contest to seven counts of drug trafficking. Misty, Ronald, Misty’s brother Tommy, Ronald’s cousin and another person were charged after undercover cops filmed them selling $3,900 worth of prescription drugs.

Each of the counts carried a maximum of 30 years in prison, so Misty could potentially face 210 years. But all the other suspects have gotten 15 years and I expect Misty will get the same, or less, since she is only 18. But to someone that young, 15 years is a VERY long time. Perhaps her attorney will play the “bad childhood” card. There is some substance to that; I think you might have to start figuring out the members of the Croslin family who are NOT in jail. Misty and Tommy’s parents are also locked up for drug offenses. It’s all extremely sad.

As to what this means for the investigation into Haleigh’s disappearance, your guess is as good as mine.

Highlights in the latest missing persons news

Hank and Lisa Croslin, the sort of step-grandparents of the missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings, have been arrested on drug charges. They join their son, daughter and former son-in-law in jail — all of them locked up for drug offenses. It should be a nice family reunion.

The Chinese government is still trying to identify children who were the victims of human trafficking within their country. Many of them were so little when they were taken and/or so traumatized by the experience that, when rescued, they don’t remember who they really are. A DNA database is in the works and they have already collected over 140,000 samples from “missing children’s parents, children suspected of having been abducted or with an unclear history, children in social welfare institutes, homeless children and child beggars.” The DNA gathering and comparisons will be done at the government’s expense, a good thing because most of these people can ill afford it.

I found this interesting article about the difficulties of locating children missing from foster care. (Charley’s latest such case is that of Patrick Alford, a seven-year-old boy who supposedly ran away from his foster home to find his biological mother. He’s been missing for six months.) The article points out that the very privacy laws intended to protect foster children seriously hinder the search for them. Even the police had to get a court order to look at Amber Nicklas’s file. I suspect there’s probably also a tendency to just not bother to report it when chronic runaways got AWOL for foster care for the fifteenth time. Another problem is that there may not be any family members to supply photos or DNA samples, or anyone who really knows the child well enough to say where they might have gone, and the only one left to advocate for the missing child may be a social worker who, well-meaning as he/she might be, has fifty other cases to manage and not a whole lot of time. It’s a mess.

Random missing persons news

According to the New York Times, the rate of elderly missing persons is on the rise — mostly confused people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Furthermore, they are often incredibly difficult to find, according to the article, because they often try to avoid searchers and many of them don’t remember their own names and so they don’t answer to people calling for them. I figure the problem will only get worse, given that the US has an aging population. By the time I am old enough to get it, perhaps they will have come up with a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. But if they have not, if I get diagnosed with the condition I hope I have the courage to shoot myself or, failing that, that my caregivers will have the courage to do it for me.

California leads the nation in international child abductions, and in spite of things like the Hague Convention left-behind parents often have a long, difficult, expensive time getting their kids back. California does, of course, have a large population to begin with, and I looked it up and nearly 30% of Californians are foreign-born. So it’s not surprising they have more of this type of abduction than any other state.

Cleveland has released a report of missing people in their city. Unfortunately it is of limited use to me. There are no photos and it only covers cases from 2006 to the present.

Misty and Hank “Tommy” Croslin’s parents are denying previously published reports that Hank had something to do with Haleigh Cummings‘s disappearance. Misty was Haleigh’s father’s girlfriend, later his wife, now divorced, so Tommy would be her sort-of uncle. There have been unconfirmed stories that Tommy helped abduct Haleigh, or at least knew who had, and Misty connived with him. Of course their parents are saying it isn’t true.

Back in the saddle again

I am quite happy to have returned to my usual updating. I had a lot to catch up on! These last few days I’ve been suffering from really bad hay fever and have just sat in bed, working on the computer. Yesterday I felt horrible and didn’t get out of bed most of the day except to go to the bathroom. I missed class. I ached all over and my nose was running like a faucet and there were no allergy meds in the house. Finally in the evening I dragged my carcass next door to my minister neighbor friend, and she gave me some Claritin that helped a little. I feel somewhat better today, but still snuffly.

Anyvague, highlights of the recent updates:

Nadia Dabbagh has made contact with her mom. This adorable little two-year-old was kidnapped by her father in 1990. He took her to Syria, dumped her with relatives, and went to Saudi Arabia. Nadia’s mother, Maureen, launched on an active and vocal campaign to have Nadia returned to her, but the Syrian government mostly refused to cooperate. Frankly, I didn’t think she’d ever see Nadia again. Well, Maureen emailed me last night to say Nadia, who is now 20, had gotten in touch with her. I don’t know any details, but I am so happy for them. Hopefully Nadia can return to the US and get to know her mother again.

Sherry Sellers, a 50-year-old who disappeared from Tuscaloosa, Alabama last January, has been found in the trunk of her own car. She left a suicide note when she disappeared, and the police concentrated their searches on nearby rivers because Sherry had earlier said if she killed herself, she’d do it by drowning. Sherry’s car was parked in the garage and they checked it, but didn’t find anything of interest and didn’t notice any smell. She had locked herself in the trunk with the only set of keys, so they couldn’t get the trunk open and for some reason they didn’t bother to call a locksmith or anything. Finally her family did, and they found the body. The police have apologized for their oversight.

A guy named Jason Gross has been charged with murdering Rochelle Battle, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Baltimore like March. Very little information has been released about the murder case. I don’t even have a picture of Gross. I did do a criminal record check on him and found out he’s got a record for all sorts of things, including sex assault.

The police have announced they think Haleigh Cummings was murdered and they have some suspects in her disappearance, whom they haven’t named yet. Odds are these suspects include Misty Croslin, her father’s girlfriend, and Joe Overstreet, Misty’s cousin. There’s an unconfirmed story that Overstreet went to the Cummings home that night looking for a gun to steal, couldn’t find it, and put a knife to Misty’s throat and kidnapped Haleigh instead. I don’t know why Overstreet would have done that, or why Misty wouldn’t have called the cops after he did. I don’t even know whether this story is true or not. But the cops searched a river for evidence and brought Misty (who’s in jail for drug charges) to the search site. They didn’t find anything though.

I just added the cases of Ronkeya Holmes and her daughter, Masaraha Ross. As the story goes, Ronkeya sent Masaraha to live with her father, Lester Ross. Later Ronkeya wanted her back, but was unable to even speak to Masaraha on the phone. Lester always claimed she was asleep or out. Ronkeya drove to Lester’s house to pick up Masaraha in early October last year and Lester promised to turn her over, then reneged. Ronkeya returned to her own home in Georgia and went to the police at that point. A few weeks later she went back to Florida to try again to pick up Masaraha. Then both of them disappeared, and Lester’s cousin was arrested driving Ronkeya’s car. Lester claims he met Ronkeya at a Wal-Mart and gave her their daughter and that was the last he saw of them, but the police looked at the Wal-Mart surveillance cameras and didn’t see any of them on there. So far the cops have been pretty quiet about this case, but it sounds very much like Lester did something to his daughter, then had to stop Ronkeya from finding out. I wonder when was the last time anyone besides Lester saw Masaraha before her reported disappearance.