Due to circumstances over the past 24 hours we have decided to cancel Sundays program about Haleigh Cummings. We will be back on March/21. I know that we have a very large and loyal audience, and we say thank you for your support.

It has been a very long and draining 13 months. And a very frustrating 13 months.

TJ Hart Programming and News Director of WSKY 97.3 asked that I include his prepared statement.

Dear fans of the program,

Thank you, for your listenership, your questions and your feedback over the past year in the Haleigh Cummings story.

Over the past few years here in Florida, I have covered the missing/murdered child cases of Jessica Lundsford, Trenton Duckett, Haleigh Cummings and Somer Thompson. The time and energy devoted to these heartbreaking cases has taken tremendous toll on me physically and mentally.

It has been brought to my attention by my family, what’s left of my friends and my employer that covering these stories has become an unhealthy obsession that has taken me away from my primary duties as a family member, a friend and the director of news and programming at my radio stations their websites.

In the past 13 months, I have not slept an entire night without the phone ringing or beeping with a text message.  I have only been away from my job a handful of days often working 7 days a week and between 8 and 18 hours a day.

My 11-year-old granddaughter recently asked me if loved those “other kids” more than her.

That got my attention!

I have come to an agreement with my family, friends and employer to remove myself from missing children stories on radio, TV and the internet for the foreseeable future.

Thank you, for your thoughts, prayers and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

TJ Hart

I also asked Jan for her thoughts.

It breaks my heart to be writing this but I feel it is necessary to try and explain my position on this subject. I have not been well lately myself and I don’t sleep very well. I find myself constantly thinking about what happened to Haleigh. I sleep for maybe three hours at night and then wake up and instead of one of my kids or grandchildren on my mind I think about Haleigh. I wonder if I should be around my computer in case something important comes in so I get out of bed and end up staying up until Simon gets up and takes over the shift of waiting for more news. I dream of finding Haleigh. Most of the dreams are of finding her alive while few are without a happy ending.

I started out reporting on missing children when Caylee Anthony disappeared and I got in deep with it and to this day I still follow the case only because I desperately want her to get the justice she so rightfully deserves by seeing the one responsible for her murder found guilty and punished.

On the day of Caylee’s memorial service I got the news of another little girl in Florida missing, Haleigh Cummings. BNN started covering the story right away never dreaming for one minute that it would become so big. Each day that went by we would pray for it to be the day she would be found.

The case has taken a toll on me though. It has interfered with my other job duties on BNN making my working hours much longer than any normal employee has especially one that doesn’t get paid. When it comes to a point when a doctor wants to put me on sleeping pills and antidepressants just to make it one day to the next gives me reason to rethink this.

Simon and I have discussed the situation and we both agree that it is time to back away for a few days. My health is one of our main reasons for this. I want to be able to function in life again.

The whole case has got everyone frustrated. Even the bloggers following the case are tiring of never hearing any good answers. They keep demanding new news but if there is none we can’t give any. When we try and go back to see if there are some things we missed during certain events that happened during the case we are accused of reporting old news and once again the demand for new news comes out. We wanted to make everyone happy but we can’t make up news just to do that.

I have problems with my back and hips and major blood pressure problems and none of this is helping. Not getting proper rest and sleep has to stop if I ever expect to get my health back.

I will continue writing about missing children as I see them coming in as the subject still goes to my heart. These children need protection and I do feel by making it public knowledge about how serious this problem is will help. If their names and pictures are all over the internet the chances of hiding them makes it harder, at least I would hope so.

I feel in my heart that Haleigh is still alive regardless what others think. I have my own theory (nothing factual and that is why I haven’t said anything specific) that makes perfect sense to me but I don’t know what happened to this little girl so I could be totally wrong. None of us know what happened but it still doesn’t mean that my theory is wrong. It is just as much a possibility for mine to be right as someone else’s that is totally opposite of mine to be right.

This doesn’t mean I am taking Haleigh out of my heart because that can never happen. I will still listen for any break in her case and if something comes up I will report it but I have to stop the 24/7 coverage. I pray that you all will understand my position here. God bless you all and especially the children that need all of our help.

Jan Barrett

This is the second most painful article I have ever written, the most difficult was when my good friend and fellow journalist  Sean Krause finally succumbed to cancer. We had talked about contributing on a book. Even a week before his death he seemed upbeat and ready to get started. I was devastated when his sister called me and told me that Sean had moved on to other opportunities. Sean had very much become part of our family. His biting coverage of the Caylee Anthony case was legendary, alas also was his rather ripe use of the English language. I know that he was ‘courted’ to appear on CNN many times, but somehow he could not quite keep his mouth in check.

Sean died three days after Haleigh Cummings went missing. I don’t know how or why, but Sean’s death somehow propelled us into the Haleigh Cummings story.

Haleigh Cummings brought a new set of challenges right on the death of Sean. Haleigh Cummings introduced us to a new set of people. It was not long before we were reporting and not regurgitating. I can’t remember the exact set of circumstances, but suddenly we had acquired two new best friends, TJ Hart and William Cobra Staubs.

Bill didn’t have great table manners, but the mans heart was in the right place. I talk to him still pretty much every day. There are people that think that his sole interest was fame and fortune. It really was not. If I want someone in my corner rooting for me, I would take Bill over anyone else. His involvement in the search for Haleigh Cummings has cost him his ability to earn a living. It may still cost him not just the love of his life, but also his freedom. Bill had to distance himself from the case.

TJ and I for no good reason just seemed to hit it off. Even though we might be viewed as adversaries looking for readers, we have never ever operated that way. Often a story would have two sides to it, TJ would take one aspect, and I would run with the other.

Few people realize just what a toll this case has taken on a great number of people, including those involved with the actual investigation.

It is my intention to continue reporting on this story, however I have decided that we will not be running our regular radio broadcast this Sunday. We will be back on the 21st.

Simon and Jan Barrett

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