Family, authorities hope arrests lead to discovery of Haleigh Cummings
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 7:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 7:19 p.m.
The father of missing Putnam County girl Haleigh Cummings and his ex-wife were among five people arrested Wednesday after a month-long investigation into the trafficking of prescription medications, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office reported.
See an Associated Press video on the drug case involving Ronald Cummings.
Family members and officers said they hope the arrests could lead to a break in the Feb. 10 disappearance of Haleigh.
Arrested were Ronald L. Cummings, 26; Misty Croslin, 18; her brother, Hank "Tommy" Croslin Jr., 23; and Hope A. Sykes, 18, all of Satsuma; and Donna Brock, 44, of Orlando.
"We had a source that said they were dealing large amounts of prescription drugs. We are talking amounts that could get 25 years in prison," Sheriff's Lt. Johnny Greenwood said. "We do not know where they were getting the drugs from. We want to see how much further this investigation can go in that regard."
Investigators allege they purchased oxycodone and hydrocodone from the five on seven different occasions. The estimated street value of the drugs was $3,900, the Sheriff's Office reported.
Cummings is the father of Haleigh Cummings, who disappeared from the home she shared with him and his then-girlfriend, Misty Croslin, in Satsuma.
Misty Croslin has said she was home alone with the girl, then 5, and the child's younger brother when the girl vanished overnight. No trace of Haleigh has been reported since, in spite of an intensive and repeated search in the area and numerous tips.
"We certainly hope that something good is going to come out of all of this bad. I'm thinking that with the time (in prison) that Misty is looking at, she is going to talk now. That's what we're hoping and praying for," said Teresa Neves, Cummings' mother. "We'd like to have Haleigh home."
Members of the Cummings family have said they believe Misty Croslin has not been forthright with information. Officers have said physical evidence at the scene contradicts her account of her activities that evening.
Since the disappearance, Misty Croslin, her brother and her father have had repeated run-ins with law enforcement on unrelated cases, some of which involved prescription drugs. Cummings has also had run-ins with law enforcement.
Greenwood said the investigation that led to Wednesday's arrests stemmed from a tip from a source with knowledge of the alleged dealing of oxycodone and hydrocodone.
"We had a source come forward, and our investigator was very good at infiltrating. We were working on it about a month," Greenwood said. Misty Croslin, Hank Croslin Jr. and Brock are incarcerated in the St. Johns County Jail. Cummings was moved to the Flagler County Jail. Sykes is in the Putnam County Jail.
Most were moved to jails outside of Putnam County for security reasons, Greenwood said. Cummings and Misty Croslin were placed in separate jails to avoid the possibility of communication between them.
Misty Croslin is being held in lieu of $950,000 bail; Cummings, $500,000; Brock, $250,000; Sykes, $150,000; and Hank Croslin Jr., $100,000.
Misty Croslin is facing six counts of trafficking in prescription medications. Three counts of the same charge are pending against Cummings and one against Hank Croslin Jr., Sykes and Brock, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Dominick Pape said that potential maximum sentences if convicted are: Misty Croslin, 74 years; Cummings, 43 years; Brock, 25 years; Sykes, 15 years; and Hank Croslin, three years.
Pape said a multi-county task force is stepping up its investigations of prescription drug sales.
A representative of a law firm that has represented Cummings in the past said the firm has not spoken to Cummings or to law enforcement since the arrest.
Sykes is related to Cummings, while Brock befriended Misty Croslin after the disappearance of Haleigh, Greenwood said.
He added that, while Cummings and Misty Croslin are divorced, they still associate with each other.
Greenwood said investigators will continue to pursue Haleigh's disappearance and will use the arrests as an opportunity to try to get more information.
"These are two investigations that are parallel," he said. "I hope something comes of it and we can gather enough information to bring it to a conclusion."
Authorities in September received a letter saying Haleigh died from an oxycodone overdose at a party. The letter at the time was called a "farce."
Contact Cindy Swirko at 374-5024 or email@example.com.
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