Now that the dust has settled a little bit, it is possible to take a step back and look at the events that have unfolded in the past 72 hours. The one thing that I am certain of is that Putnam County are not the bunch of ‘losers’ that so many commenter’s have remarked about.

They move in a clear and clinical fashion. For the most part they try and avoid showing their cards. This makes sense. Loose lips sink ships was a slogan used in world war two. It is a good slogan. They are not forthcoming with the press, occasionally they throw a crumb our way, but mostly they prefer to keep themselves to themselves.

I am sure that the Caylee Anthony debacle has many police services rethinking their approach to the press, you cannot blame them.

It is however possible to make some observations based on actions. And the past 72 hours are a great example. There are five people in custody related to the Haleigh Cummings case, but none are accused of anything directly linking them to the case.

Is this an application of ‘pressure’? Well I would say yes.

It is an interesting adventure to look at who was caught in the dragnet, and why!

Misty Croslin is the prime person of interest. The police have said time and time again that she might be the key to unlocking the case. With her now behind bars could they be getting closer to unraveling this case?

Misty was the live in babysitter/lover/care giver/wife/ex wife of Ronald Cummings, she was also the last peson to see Haleigh Cummings. She now sits in jail with something like a million dollar bond to crack. Of course there is always some idiot that wants the publicity, so it likely is a matter of time before someone does a Leonard Paddila and bails the numbskull out. Rumor has it that Mistyis deathly scared of being behind bars, so this is a very handy form of psychological pressure.

Ronald Cummings  has all but been cleared of any direct involvement in the disappearance, but in my mind he likely does know more than he has told so far. However there is also significant psychological pressure on him while he remains in jail. Obviously he cannot care for Jr. While in this position and Crystal Sheffield the biological mother has been granted temporary custody. There is little love lost between Ron and Crystal and I am sure that this situation is causing him great anguish.

Tommy Croslin is also an interesting member of this merry band of friends and family. Jail likely does not unduly bother him, this is hardly his first brush with the law. He most certainly may have information that could assist in solving the crime. In my opinion there are two possibilities, he could have been involved directly, but much more likely he was a willing helper after the event.

That leaves the other two miscreants Hope Sykes and Donna Brock. At first sight it might appear that they are just cases of collateral damage, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. However a closer inspection shows that there may be a good reason for including them in this round up.

Donna Brock was the Texas Equusearch member that Tim Miller bankrolled to befriend Misty. Did Misty spill the beans to her new BFF? There can be little chance that Donna was involved in the original event, to the best of my knowledge she had never even heard of Misty, Ron or the rest of the gang prior to the TES involvement.

That leaves Hope Sykes, it is possible that she is the collateral damage, however, I do believe that this is one of the people involved in the robbery of Misty while trying to buy drugs. The pair are friends, so once again Hope may well have information that she has received from Misty.

In my opinion this is a five way game of chicken. Everyone has a vested interest in ratting out the others. I am sure that the pressure will intensify as Law Enforcement starts to ‘sweeten the pot’. Reduced bond, reduced or dropped charges, they have plenty of bargaining chips. The next few days may prove to be very interesting in this case.

Simon Barrett

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