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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Mystery Tip Leads to Haleigh?

Aired April 13, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, has Haleigh Cummings finally been found? Fast-breaking news in the desperate search for this beautiful little girl. This heartbreaking mystery has transfixed the nation for more than a year. She vanished from her dad`s trailer last February. We all feared the worst. So is it Haleigh? We are all over this story.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast breaking news. Have cops found missing 5-year- old Haleigh Cummings? A mystery tipster sparks a massive search for the little girl`s body. It`s happening right now as we speak, just five miles away from the Satsuma, Florida, trailer park where little Haleigh disappeared more than a year ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, of course, did ask the sheriff here if this is going from a missing person`s case to a homicide investigation, and he didn`t say no. He didn`t say yes. He said that is a decision they are going to have to make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators are scouring the banks of the St. John`s River, furiously searching the water and the woods, focusing on a boat ramp that leads into the river. News 4 JAX reports something, possibly a box, has just been pulled from the water. Police have not confirmed that.

Meanwhile, a flurry of activity at the Putnam County Jail. The sheriff`s office gathered Haleigh`s entire family for an emotional meeting. Haleigh`s dad Ronald, mom Crystal, her grandparents and her great- grandmother were all there. First Coast News reports many of them were in tears. Why are they weeping?

Eighteen-year-old Misty Croslin, the last person to see Haleigh alive was not at this meeting. But the sheriff says they are interviewing her as we speak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF JAY HARDY, PUTNAM COUNTY, FLORIDA: I`m not here speaking to you, because we had the family here today and I had some private conversations between my agency and with the family. I prefer to keep that private right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us where Misty Croslin is right now?

HARDY: She has been brought back for an interview. And at this moment, I can`t tell you exactly where she is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Along with Ron, Misty is also behind bars on drug charges. Did she finally crack and open up to investigators? Her lawyer tells the "Florida Times-Union" Misty might have shed some light on who was responsible.

From the start, cops insisted Misty was lying about what happened to Haleigh. But until now, she had maintained the little girl simply vanished into thin air from her bed in the dead of night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MISTY CROSLIN, EX-WIFE OF RON CUMMINGS: I got up to use to the bathroom, but I didn`t reach the bathroom. I seen the kitchen light on. And I walked into the kitchen, and the backdoor was wide open. And, you know, I didn`t notice about Haleigh until I seen the back door open. And I go into the room, and she`s gone. And that`s all I know. Because when I woke up, when I went to see if she was there, when I woke up, she was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, mind-blowing new reports. Investigative journalist Art Harris reports on his blog, the Bald Truth, that Misty wrote a letter from jail, pointing the finger at a cousin in Tennessee. That cousin has denied any involvement. HLN has not been able to independently confirm these reports.

But the entire Cummings-Croslin clan has been finger pointing and blaming each other since day one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, sir, let me talk to your wife. Let me get some information from her.

CUMMINGS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Can I talk to her? OK?

CUMMINGS: How the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) do you let my daughter get stolen, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re covering this breaking news story for the entire hour; developments coming in as we speak. And I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic panel, all experts on Haleigh`s disappearance. But first, Jason Law, reporter with WJXT. He is in front of the Putnam County Sheriff`s Office.

Jason, a dramatic day. What is the very latest?

JASON LAW, REPORTER, WJXT: Jane, major developments in this case, which we`ve been following for nearly 15 months. If they`re not the most significant developments since this case started, they`re certainly the most significant developments that we`ve had in the last couple of months. In fact, today for the first time in a couple of months, we were able to speak with Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy. You heard my colleague, Jen Bower (ph), asking him a couple of questions earlier today.

Now, let me tell you the two key points to take away from this conversation with Jeff Hardy. First, we asked if they have found Haleigh Cummings. We know they`ve been searching a river about ten of 15 miles away from Satsuma, which of course, is where Haleigh is from here in Florida.

We asked them if they found Haleigh Cummings. His answer was no. He did not hesitate, and he said no.

Our second question was, if this missing persons case was going to turn into, now, a homicide investigation. And his answer is interesting. He said, "We`re going to have to determine that at a later time." So he didn`t say no. He didn`t say yes to that question of if this missing persons case, which has been going on now for 15 -- again, close to 15 months, if it would now become a homicide.

Now, what we can tell you for sure is that this search has been going on since about 9 a.m. this morning. Again, it`s in the St. John`s River in Putnam County, which again, is about five miles from where Haleigh was last seen, five miles from her home.

We know that divers have been out in this section of river. We know that cadaver dogs, canines have been along the river bank. We know that FDLE, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has been assisting the sheriff`s office in this search. They are working off of some kind of tip that is described as credible, searching for evidence...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly.

LAW: ... in this certain part of the river. So it`s credible. That`s the very telling all in itself, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That is. The big question is who is the mystery tipster. And does that individual have any connection to the many members of the Croslin-Cummings clan that are behind bars? Or could it be one of those who is behind bars?

Now, let`s also take a look at where this search is happening. And unbelievably, it is happening less than five miles from the trailer home where Haleigh and her family lived in Satsuma when she vanished. Authorities are searching a portion of the St. John`s River. It appears they are in it for the long haul. As we just reported, just a little while ago, there are -- a local station is reporting they pulled some kind of box out. We don`t know if there`s anything in the box. They`re setting up stadium lights so they can search through the night. Here is a picture of the scene.

Mike Brooks, describe what this operation is doing right now.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, I`m telling you, Jane. This is -- I`m very surprised that they`re continuing on through the night. There is something that they want to find, and they want to find it bad. Otherwise, they would just secure that area with boats and deputies and just come back at daybreak.

You know, but was there something to what they pulled out from the river? We don`t know yet. That`s the question.

And again, the big question is where did this tip come from? Because this is the first time we`ve seen any kind of operation in quite some time, Jane. Even though they`ve had a task force of sheriff`s deputies. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FBI, all taking a fresh look at this case a number of months ago. But nothing has come out of that until now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casarez, here`s what`s fascinating. Misty`s lawyer was contacted by the "Florida Times-Union," and he told the paper that she may have provided helpful information that led to other leads. Quote, "This latest search was based on information from someone else," but he adds, "Misty may have shed some light on who is responsible." He says somebody else has possibly been implicated in this. You need to look away from Misty.

What`s your analysis.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: Well, let`s take that, what you just said, and let`s combine it with some of those jailhouse phone calls, Jane. First of all, she says in one of those jailhouse phone calls that "there are two people that we are going to really hurt in all of this."

The response from her sister-in-law: "Do we care about them?"

She says, "One, yes. The other --" Another phone conversation, she implicates that the person that is responsible "is walking the streets free, and we`re behind bars."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason Law, back to you out there at the scene at the Putnam County Sheriff`s Office. What is the scuttlebutt out there on the street? I know you reporters -- I`ve been out there myself, talking to each other. Do you sense that this is really a credible trip -- tip? Or is this just another one of these crazy, you know, chases that we go on, and we end up with nothing?

LAW: Well, here`s the difference here. You know, we`ve done stories, we did one last year late in the year where they drained a pond and turned up nothing.

Here`s the difference here. Today the sheriff`s office brought together the family. Ronald Cummings who is here at the Putnam County jail facing drug charges, was walked over in handcuffs. He talked to investigators. The mother, Crystal Sheffield, Haleigh`s mother, talked to investigators. You know, had a conversation with them today. The two grandmothers of Haleigh had a conversation with investigators. We don`t know what the nature of that conversation was...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the other thing, they were crying.

LAW: ... but that tells you a lot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some of them were crying.

LAW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? If they haven`t found a body, why are they crying?

LAW: Absolutely. Were in there...

CASAREZ: Maybe they found clothing.

LAW: Well, we can`t -- we can`t speculate; we just don`t know. But they were coming out of the building behind me, actually, very emotional after being in there for about an hour and a half.

But Misty Cummings -- Misty Croslin Cummings was actually removed from a jail in the next county over by Putnam County detectives. She`s standing, facing similar drug charges. She`s staying in a different jail away from Ronald. Detectives went and picked her up and brought her out and questioned her. We don`t know where they took her. We don`t know if they took her to the scene or if they brought her here to the Putnam County jail. But they brought her out of jail for questioning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s that?

LAW: So that can tell you something, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t have the show in front of me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, guys. Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to have a lot more on today`s massive search.

Plus, we`re taking calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. The lines lighting up already: 1-877-586-7297.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. CROSLIN: I didn`t notice about Haleigh and then I saw the back door open. And I go to look and she`s gone. And that`s all I know, is that when I woke up and I went to see if she was there, when I woke up she was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA CROSLIN, MISTY`S MOTHER: As soon as we find out what happened to Haleigh, everything will be different.

M. CROSLIN: I know.

L. CROSLIN: I can`t believe they still believe you know. It`s crazy.

M. CROSLIN: They`ve got my bond set so high just because of that. And that`s not fair. This has nothing to do with it.

L. CROSLIN: I know. But that`s exactly what it is.

M. CROSLIN: That`s what they think: I`m going to break. There`s nothing to break me on, so they need to leave me alone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Nothing to break me of. They need to leave me alone." That was Misty Croslin.

This precious child you`re looking at disappeared on her watch. She has maintained that the child vanished into thin air. Police question that story.

We`re going to go now to Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, who has searched for this precious child high and low.

Tim, this is a dramatic development tonight, that this search is going through the night. They pulled a box out of the river. They`re searching with divers. This area is only five miles away from where this child disappeared, on the St. John`s River near County Road 309. Five miles away. Wouldn`t this area have been searched before? You guys did the search.

TIM MILLER, DIRECTOR, EQUUSEARCH: Well, we didn`t -- actually, we didn`t search that area. But when I was down there when Misty took the polygraph test and voice analysis test and stuff, I believe it was Ronald that was with us when we were saying, you know, "What areas do you think we need to search?" And they actually took a sound of that area and said that was an area that -- that Cousin Joe fished at. And he said he had some interest in it. And...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who fished at?

MILLER: The cousin Joe, I believe. The cousin out of Tennessee.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ahhh. OK, well, you bring me to a very important point. Investigative journalist Art Harris reports exclusively at TheBaldTruth.com that Misty Croslin wrote a letter to relatives from jail, implicating another relative in Haleigh`s disappearance.

Here`s what Art told Nancy Grace. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ART HARRIS, THEBALDTRUTH.COM: Nancy, I can tell you that I spoke to the people who got that letter to family members, Chelsea Croslin and father Hank Croslin. It says, it claims that Tommy was at the trailer that last night with a cousin named Joe from Tennessee and that they were there to steal a gun Ronald had been bragging about. It wasn`t there. Tommy said, "I`m going home." Cousin Joe, according to Misty in her letter, took Haleigh and left. He was mad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. HLN could not independently confirm that. Cousin Joe reportedly left town the very day Haleigh was reported missing. This just in. His family said they have heard nothing today. He has denied involvement in her disappearance and has talked to cops.

The lawyer for Misty`s brother, Tommy Croslin, also calls the story bogus. And Art Harris also reports Misty flunked a lie detector test miserably when she was questioned about this letter.

So Marlena Schiavo sheds (ph) -- all right, Levi Page, you are a blogger, host of "The Levi Page Show" on Blog Talk Radio. You say you obtained a copy of one of Misty`s alleged letters from jail. We`re looking at it right now. What`s inside? Shed some light on these new stories she`s coming up with.

LEVI PAGE, BLOGGER (via phone): Yes. This is a letter that Misty wrote a month ago, Jane. And in this letter that she wrote to her brother Timmy in Massachusetts, she says, "Kiss, kiss, kiss. I feel so bad about this S-H-I-T." She went on to describe how someone pulled a knife on her, told her not to say anything or that he would kill her. She then goes on to say that this person that she`s talking about raped her. He was coming to get a gun, she says. She mentioned someone by the name of Joe.

This Joe Overstreet we`ve been hearing about, a cousin who lives in Tennessee. She said that he got mad that night. She says that she didn`t know where Tommy went that night, her brother Tommy. She said that he was F`d up. She then ended the letter by saying she wishes that she knew what he did that night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tim -- this girl has a history of lying. She`s failed many lie detector tests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now she`s telling another story, supposedly, according to two sources who have seen letters, pointing the finger at a cousin Joe, who left that day to Tennessee, as well as her own brother, who`s also behind bars on drug charges?

BROOKS: Well, you know, the whole story from Tommy, Jane, has been that, you know, he says that Ronald had been calling him that night. And he went over to the trailer and beat on the door somewhere between 10 and 10:30, and there was no one there. Who`s telling the truth?

We know -- I know at least three polygraphs that Misty has failed. Two from law enforcement and one from Tim Miller`s group. So, you know who`s telling the truth here?

But Jane, the fact that they brought everybody to the sheriff`s office today, and the fact when asked, if this is going from a missing persons case to a homicide, they said that decision will be made later. That is significant to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, you said that maybe they found her clothing. But it`s been 14 months and this is a river. Experts say in that time, even the skeletal remains of a body would be dissipated.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we don`t know what shape the body is in, if any. We don`t know how decomposed it is. We don`t know how preserved it was. We don`t know if it was in a box, in a garbage bag in a box. We don`t know. We don`t know if it`s been underwater and submerged. We don`t know if it was right on the edge of the water and then pushed. We just don`t know yet.

But imagine, if there is any remains left, there could be clothing that was let go nearby and that maybe, for identification purposes, they went to see the family at the jail and the last people that saw her.

Also, we don`t know if there`s clothing, if there`s any evidentiary value of the attacker on the clothing. We just don`t know yet. We don`t know if there`s skin, if there`s any soft tissue left, if there was anything at all that could have...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we also don`t know if there`s a body at all. Remember, this is based on a credible tip. They`re there; they`re diving. They`ve pulled out a box. We don`t know what`s in it. This mystery has gripped the country for more than a year. What happened to this beautiful little girl?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUMMINGS (via phone): I said on the 911 call. I didn`t change my mind not a bit. I don`t care if they get me with justifiable homicide. I don`t care. If I find out what happened to my young one, it would be worth life without parole. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or whatever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUMMINGS (via phone): They told me that their main focus is not putting me in jail but on finding Haleigh. They already know I don`t know nothing about Haleigh`s disappearance. Otherwise, I would already have been in DOC

(END VIDE CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Haleigh Cummings` dad in January, speaking from behind bars.

It`s been a very emotional day for Haleigh`s family. Police called them all together after getting a new tip that could lead investigators to Haleigh`s body. They are searching throughout the night with high-powered lights. They`ve reportedly pulled a box from the water.

Sheba, Illinois, your question or thought?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. It`s good to hear from you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is -- I just can`t believe it would be the stepmother giving information. Because she -- I mean, all they could do would be get her off of Death Row if she`s found guilty of this. And the other...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Pat Brown -- let me address that first. Pat Brown, she faces, what, a mandatory minimum of 25 years for her drug trafficking? That`s a lot of leverage cops could use.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, it is, Jane, unless you killed the child, in which case you`re going to jail for the rest of your life. So you`re not going to give up that information if you did it.

Now, if you knew something about it. For example, if you knew who did it, you helped cover up for them, you helped put their body in the river, something like that. Then yes, you might decide to finally cut a deal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jeanne Casarez, here`s what I do not understand. She, according to these letters that have been published, has pointed the finger now at a cousin Joe in Tennessee, who has not been arrested and not a suspect. And she reportedly failed a lie detector. So, if she`s pointing the finger at somebody who`s not involved, how are cops using that other person as a credible witness to search for this body?

CASAREZ: But you know something we were all thinking about today, is if she was covering for someone or if she had been threatened by someone, if she told the truth, then she probably would fail lie detector tests.

But you know, Jane, if you look at the law and accessory under -- after the fact, meaning you helped someone. You`re helping to conceal their identity, that`s a first-degree felony in and of itself in Florida.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc Harrold, what do you make of all of this? Why would the family cry and then the sheriff say we haven`t found the body yet, but they`re searching all night?

MARC HARROLD, ATTORNEY AND FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Well, I think it`s very -- it says a lot that they`re searching all night. They obviously think this is a credible tip. And like it`s been said, this is moving water. It`s a long time after the body probably went into the water if the body`s there. So the fact that they`re working all night in those conditions really says something about how credible they think the tip is. We`ll know more about how credible the tip is if they find something, most likely. But I think they`re going to work all night if they have to. They think something`s there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anyone there have a theory as to who this credible tip might have come from? We don`t have to name names if we`re going to implicate anybody. But does anybody have a theory, because it`s a mystery. And this case is just one big, giant...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Go ahead.

WEINTRAUB: What I think is that somebody was arrested very, very recently that we don`t know about, and that somebody who was arrested is bargaining right now to get out of jail. Not somebody who`s been in jail; somebody that has a problem imminently and is using this to get out. That`s what I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. In other words, they -- they`ve rounded up so many people and arrested so many people during the course of this for different things, for drugs and for all sorts of other things. They grabbed somebody, and that person knows something, and that person squealed. That`s your theory. All right.

Everybody, stay right there. We are just getting started. Phone lines are lit up, and we`re going to get to you in a moment. Have our worst fears finally become reality?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUMMINGS: Please, if you have my daughter, bring her home, please. All I want is Haleigh. Baby, if you`re watching, you know you`ll always be daddy`s little girl. I love you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA CROSLIN, MISTY CROSLIN`S MOTHER: I know you had nothing to do with Haleigh. You loved her, just like you do Junior. And I`m sending you a picture of Junior.

MISTY CROSLIN, RON CUMMINGS` FORMER WIFE: Ok.

L. CROSLIN: Ok. Don`t cry at this.

M. CROSLIN: You got one of Haleigh, too?

L. CROSLIN: I don`t know, but I can find one. Ok? And I`ll send them to you.

M. CROSLIN: All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Dramatic developments tonight near Satsuma, Florida. Police have converged on a river just five miles away from where little Haleigh disappeared more than a year ago. They pulled out, according to published reports, a mystery box. And there you see video from just moments ago. They are going to be working throughout the night in this river.

The big question is -- did they find Haleigh? The last word we heard was no, but they had summoned the entire family of Haleigh to the sheriff`s office. Many of them were in tears. The mood is tense. It appears there`s a development imminent because they`ve gotten a credible tip and they have brought in cadaver dogs.

All right. Jean in Michigan, your question or thought, ma`am?

JEAN, MICHIGAN (via telephone): Hi Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

JEAN: Thank you for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.

JEAN: You know, Misty, every time they show the recording of her saying that she got out of bed and the backdoor was wide open, when the Nancy Grace producer went there and they went and they showed that the door would not stay open by itself, didn`t they suspect her right away from the beginning? If her own door wouldn`t stay open and she kept saying I got out of bed and the door was wide open?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Brooks, wasn`t there a brick that she mentioned was propping the door open?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. There was a cinder block, Jane, apparently that was blocking that door open. But, you know, some -- that`s just another inconsistency of Misty Croslin because when she talked to Nancy Grace producer Marlaina Schiavo when they did the walk through of the house -- Marlaina -- you know they said -- Misty said she looked under the bed. She said that in the statement.

No. The bed -- the mattresses are on the floor. You can`t hide anything under them. There was a lot of inconsistencies on the bathroom, on seeing a light on in the trailer. Things just didn`t add up.

Now, Jane, you know, when you talk about this search, I seriously doubt if you`re going to have divers in the water tonight. But you`re looking at -- when I was looking at those boats that are in the water, those are some of the boats that they probably most likely could use, side scan sonar to see what is on the bottom of that river. And you can do that at night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, this is what I have to ask Pat Brown. She has failed numerous polygraphs.

Question: do you know who took Haleigh? Answer: no. Result: 42 percent deception.

Question: do you know where Haleigh is now? Answer: no. Result: 95 percent deception.

It goes on and on like that. So Pat Brown, if she tells the truth now, it`s like the boy who cried wolf. Who`s going to believe her?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, that`s it. Unless she`s given something so specific at this point or somebody else knows something else. She said that they can point back -- we absolutely know the child is at this location.

And I do find it really interesting that Ronald was over there pointing out, this will be a place where Haleigh could be because this is where good old Joe was. That to me shows the kind of thing where, you know, you put a body some place and then you already have your plan on who to blame it on.

And I think it`s all going to come back to that house and what happened that night. There`s nobody outside of this thing that is going to be implicated but who lived in that house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dreama, Maryland, your question or thought?

DREAMA, MARYLAND (via telephone): Yes, my question is why wasn`t Misty arrested immediately when the little girl went missing? And also this cousin, Joe, I`m really concerned about him. Why wasn`t you guys doing any segments on him and where he lives and what he does?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we did -- the police did go down and talk to Joe the cousin. Levi Page, you were the last person to interview Misty Croslin before she was arrested. What do you know about this cousin Joe? And I want to stress that police are not calling him a suspect. This is apparently from a letter that Misty wrote.

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: Yes. And Jane I just got information from Leonard Padilla that this was not -- this information did not come from Misty. This information came from Tommy Croslin, her brother.

Leonard Padilla says that Chelsea Croslin told him yesterday that this spot should be searched. Leonard Padilla also said that there`s a yellow rope that was found at Tommy Croslin`s home. And that`s an interesting fact, that there was a yellow rope that was suspicious early on in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why was the yellow rope suspicious?

PAGE: I`m not sure. That`s just what Leonard Padilla told me, there was a yellow rope found at Tommy`s home today that matches a rope that was involved in the case early on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anybody know anything about a yellow rope? All right.

BROWN: Not unless it`s at the scene.

Levi, explain again Chelsea Croslin, her relationship and why what you just said is so significant.

PAGE: Chelsea Croslin is the wife of Misty`s brother Timmy who lives in Massachusetts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes but what -- you said that you`ve just got some information from Leonard Padilla to the effect that this tip did not come from Misty, that this came from Misty`s brother Tommy, who is also behind bars. Is that what you said?

PAGE: Yes, yes, you`re right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Elaborate a little bit on that. He`s obviously behind bars right now, facing a lot of time as well. He was caught in this drug sweep, which cops orchestrated. Many people speculate it was designed to round up as many members of this clan as possible to put the squeeze on them to get the truth out of them.

This guy Tommy -- Hank "Tommy" Croslin Jr. is facing a lot of time behind bars, along with his sister. Now, basically -- ok, I`ll go to Mike Brooks. It would appear maybe that this guy, the brother cracked.

BROOKS: Well, you know Jane, he`s charged with one count in this whole drug ring, if you will. But if you remember back last fall -- in fact I was in Boston at the same time -- investigators went to interview Timmy. What they got out of that at the time, I don`t know.

But there`s kind of this murky story between Tommy and Cousin Joe. But Tommy, I have a bad feeling about him, as I said earlier, all along. When he inserted himself in and he said he went over there and pounded on that door. There`s no way that somebody would not have heard him pounding on that door. But he said that Misty wasn`t there.

But then again blood is thicker than water. You`ve got Misty and Tommy, brother and sister.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops --

BROWN: Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

BROWEN: I was going to say that the reason that, you know, the lawyers are battling already and saying well, the tips emanated from their client. No, it emanated from something that one said to the other is because eventually, if it is the child Haleigh Cummings, they`re going to say they want substantial assistance for solving another crime.

Those are the buzz words in Florida to get a reduction in their own sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question, Jean Casarez, if it turns out that they have once again fooled authorities, and that this 18- year-old who looks like 12 has again managed to sort of make a fool of all law enforcement down there by not cracking or by dissembling and lying and making up stories, they`re going to be angry. They`re going to be angry at whoever provided this tip if it somehow doesn`t turn out to be a credible tip.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": No, you`re exactly right. The thing that I just can`t get around, though, Jane, is let`s place ourselves in that area. By St. John`s river, this search is going to go on right now. It`s going to go on through the night.

Separately at the county sheriff`s office at the jail, they called the entire family there to give them private information. Remember, Crystal Sheffield, the biological mother of Haleigh, she doesn`t live in that county. She had to go a ways to get to the jail today. That`s got to be something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what? What Jean? If they haven`t found the body --

CASAREZ: Well, they found physical evidence. We`re hearing physical evidence. If they find physical evidence, that`s what they`re terming in. And I think you said something, Jane, early on, about the clothes she was last seen wearing. That could be important at this point in time.

BROWN: Wrapped in a blanket, who knows.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even if the skeletal remains might have dissipated, it`s possible perhaps clothing that could be identified might have been found there, because the family was crying.

Fantastic panel.

Stay right where you are, and please keep those phone calls coming. We`ve got a couple lined up for after the break; 1877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1- 877-586-7297.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. CROSLIN: I will prove to the world that I didn`t have nothing to do with it.

L. CROSLIN: Exactly.

M. CROSLIN: And everybody can kiss my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I`m going to get on TV and I`m going to tell them all to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. CROSLIN: I got up because I had to use the bathroom, but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I see the kitchen light on. I walked into the kitchen and the backdoor was wide open. I didn`t notice about Haleigh until I seen the backdoor open. She`s gone. That`s all I know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Misty`s story, did she stick to it? Each time she was questioned by the media, cops and Equusearch, Misty has given several accounts of what happened that night. Some just don`t add up. Do any of them add up?

If she`s playing the cops, did her games just end at the banks of the St. Johns River?

Heather, Ohio, your question or thought as we look at video of the search that going on throughout the night near Satsuma.

HEATHER, OHIO (via telephone): Hi Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

HEATHER: Thank you for taking my comments.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.

HEATHER: I have a family member who`s an addict, Oxycontin, Vicodin, you know. I know the lifestyle. I know the demeanor. It seems like with every lie there`s a little bit of truth in there, you know? Misty and Ronald both look strung out to me, you know, especially when they were first taken in. I just -- you know, I think Misty is tired of her mystery meat, and somebody is talking here.

I`m glad that everything is finally starting to come down around them, and I hope that Ronald family and loved ones get a little bit of closure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you make a great point. And let`s get into the drug angle.`

Last April, a mystery man named Greg came into the picture. He made some pretty amazing claims about Misty to Art Harris at the baldtruth.com.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She can do pills and all kinds of (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

ART HARRIS, BALDTRUTH.COM: What kind of pills?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, roxies and all that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

HARRIS: Roxies? I`ve never heard of roxies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roxies is a new pill they.

HARRIS: Oh, really? Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a breakthrough for Oxycontin.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one scenario floated by Art Harris is that Misty was partying like a rock star the weekend before little Haleigh vanished. Artharris.com reports that this same guy Greg claims he was with Misty that weekend and they took part in a three-day bender of drugs, cocaine and sex.

Police have questioned this man, but they have not confirmed the details. It`s been well over a year since the alleged party. Levi Page, you know so much about this story. What do you know about the drug binge leading up to Haleigh`s disappearance and what might have happened after that?

PAGE: Yes, we know that she was partying with this man named White Boy Greg Page. We know that she was also partying with Nene, Amber Prevatt (ph). We know that there was a letter that floated around early this month when Amber Nene Prevatt was in jail on charges unrelated to the Haleigh Cummings case.

She sent this letter to her family members and then it was released in the media where she said that Haleigh at this party with Misty, Misty not at home that night, according to her overdosed on Oxycontin. Got this Oxycontin in her mouth and overdosed, then they dumped her body in a pond at the (INAUDIBLE). Police searched that pond and didn`t find anything in it. And they also ruled out that scenario.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have new information just in. Published reports are saying that the residents are only being let into this area near the river by showing proof of identification that they live there. And one resident said officers were seeking information on a 1990s model Chrysler van.

What do you make of it, Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: Well, that means that they have some additional information. You know, I`m trying to think back. I`m going to have to go back to some of my notes Jane, because I remember a vehicle back right after this story originally broke, but I can`t remember exactly what the description of that vehicle was.

So, who did it belong to? We don`t know. That`s going to be some crucial information in this case. If they`re asking people, "Hey, did you see a vehicle of this description in your neighborhood between a certain time and a certain time," that`s going to narrow down the time line. And maybe, just maybe, kind of put the pieces of this puzzle together a little bit more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Pat Brown, according to these published reports they`re saying a woman who did not want to be named says she lives in the area for about two years. And officers are going door to door, getting residents` names and asking if they have seen a newer model gray van in connection with the Haleigh Cummings case.

BROWN: I think they`re really going to need the specific kind of information. One is they`re going to need to know what brought the body of the child to that location so that they can link it back to somebody. They`re going to need -- they`ll find the body maybe in a bag or a box, or whatever is connected to that body, what exactly that information could link back to, who it could link back to. Looking at how she died, what that could link back to.

Because I think what we`re going to get is a lot of finger pointing here. Oh, yes, I heard where the body was. So and so told me, or through the grapevine, I heard the body is over here, but I didn`t have anything to do with it. Then you have to prove who had something to do with it.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne, go ahead.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It sounds like to me that`s why the body was recently or just put in the river, that`s why they`re going to search all night because this might very well (INAUDIBLE) homicide scene. They would not search all night at a river for something that`s been in the river for a year because they wouldn`t make any ground in one night. They would have let it go to the next day.

However, if this van just came into the picture and just dumped the body, then they very well could still get a lot of clues if it`s only been a few hours.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jean Casarez, that`s shades of the Casey Anthony case where of course her defense team is claiming that she was already in jail when the body was placed where it was ultimately found. Are we going to see sort of the same exact pattern with this case?

CASAREZ: You know, Jane, let me throw another wrench into the fire here. First of all, I remember a van. I remember a van early on. There were some allegations in regards to a van that was moved and then put back. It was the same time that Cousin Joe -- I think it was Chelsea, that`s Timmy Croslin`s wife said that there was a van, it was gone, then it was back again.

However, Jane, Cousin Joe is in Tennessee right now. So they`re looking for a van that is very close to this area, that can`t be Cousin Joe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc Harrold though, authorities went down to Tennessee and they talked to Cousin Joe and didn`t arrest him. He`s not considered a suspect. And she failed a lie detector test when she pointed a finger at him in the letter.

MARC HARROLD: Yes, all of a sudden there`s Cousin Joe and there`s the nexus to the lake and different people are saying different things about Cousin Joe. It maybe something where they decided to implicate this person, police went down there. They may not have had the evidence they need to present him with They may be holding some things back to see what he says, and to basically see what they can corroborate, what they can disprove before they name him as a suspect so he doesn`t get suspicious or he doesn`t take off if they don`t have enough to hold him.

But very interesting that this person sort of being implicated by several different people sort of all at the same time.

BROWN: Yes. But he may just be the fall guy. He`s convenient. He`s out of the area. He`s not one of them so let`s just pin it on him. He fishes, you know, he`s been in that river.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating. Everyone stay right where you are. We`re going to be back continuing with the latest developments in a still unfolding case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: It`s hard to believe that she don`t know more. But it`s also hard to believe that if she did know more she hasn`t already talked. You know? Especially if they got her locked up like they got me, man, because this will drive you crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. CROSLIN: When Haleigh`s found, I will be let out of jail because that`s the only reason they`re keeping me in here, the only reason they set me up, and all that stuff. And that`s why my bond is so high. And it`s not right. This has -- me being in jail has nothing to do with Haleigh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Extraordinary developments tonight as authorities converge. You`re looking at it right here, at a spot on the river bank near Satsuma, Florida, just about five miles away from where little Haleigh vanished more than a year ago.

Breaking news: new information coming in that authorities are also sealing off the entire neighborhood and going door to door asking residents if they had seen a newer-model gray van in connection with the Haleigh Cummings case. Another resident said officers were seeking information on a 1990s model Chrysler van, this according to published reports.

Tiffany, Florida, your question or thought.

TIFFANY, FLORIDA (via telephone): Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

TIFFANY: I have a question. I know that there was speculation that they had married in order to keep information confidential between the two. Now that they`re divorced, I`m wondering if they can bring that up in court and say what was between them at the time of marriage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that`s a fascinating question. Jayne Weintraub, do you want to take a shot at it?

WEINTRAUB: Sure. The answer is if there were communication that`s were said during the marriage that did have the marital privilege those remain intact. They do not die with the divorce.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Levi Page, you were the last person to interview Misty Croslin before she was arrested. Nobody could ever understand why Ron married Misty. Would you marry somebody whose precious child disappeared on her watch?

PAGE: Yes, and Jane, he had only known her for four months, and he married her a month after Haleigh vanished. He also -- his behavior`s been very strange from the very beginning. He was seen at a tattoo parlor getting a tattoo paid for by people that donated in to him.

And a reporter that was at the scene said that they were talking to people at the tattoo parlor and they said that instead of caring about where his daughter was that Ronald was more concerned and bragging about the money he was getting from people in that area. Let`s also not forget everybody talks about Misty`s inconsistencies.

Ronald Cummings has inconsistencies as well. That night he told another station that Misty was sleeping in the bed with his two children four feet away. Then he said on Nancy Grace that they were all in the same bed. So that`s inconsistent statements from Ronald Cummings as well.

BROWN: And on top of that I want to point out, Jane, that it sounds to me like Misty was coached in that phone call because she said "our children". You don`t say "our children" when you`ve only known the kids that short a time. But if you`re coaching someone you say hey, tell them our children, you were here with our children and here`s the three things you say, you were sleeping, the door`s open, and I don`t know anything else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow.

PAGE: Also told the -- he also told Misty when she was on the phone with 911 hang up, we`ve got better f-ing people to talk to. Why not cooperate, why not get the information out there so they can finds your daughter?

BROWN: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jean Casarez, just a few seconds, but he`s always been a sympathetic figure because of that 911 call where he seems so distraught but now --

BROWN: He wasn`t even looking for his kid. He comes home, racing out, looking all over the neighborhood. He`s not down at the lake. He`s immediately going ok, let`s make that phone call. I don`t believe a bit of it

(CROSSTALK)

CASAREZ: I can counter all of that. It`s Misty that had the inconsistencies about who was sleeping where. He was repeating what she had told. Number one, that 911 call was not made until Ron got home. It was made after he got home.

BROWN: Yes, but he didn`t go looking for his daughter. He never looked for her.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN. We`ll be all over this tomorrow. Come back then.

END