It was reported incorrectly on HLN last night that skeletal remains of Haleigh Cummings had been located. I can not blame Art Harris he was not the one to make the claim, rather it was Nancy Grace. Art however did little to rectify the situation, so they both sit with a good deal of egg on their faces.

I contacted the PCSO for clarification and Lieutenant Johnny Greenwood sent me back a rather nebulous reply. I apparently was not the only press organization that picked up on the story, and today the PCSO issued a press communique that is crystal clear:

Date: April 21, 2010

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries regarding the recovery of the skeletal remains of missing 5 year-old Haleigh Cummings. A rumor has spread throughout our community that her body has been located. This rumor is false, and this information has been vastly misreported and sensationalized by the media.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office did recover animal remains such as alligator claws and teeth, and a multiple animal bones. The agency had an anthropologist at the scene that identified all “biological” items that were recovered as being non-human. Additionally, Misty Croslin could have easily seen these items while she was at the dock while the dive operation was in progress.

In an effort to prevent this false information from impeding our investigation, Sheriff Hardy wants to quell these rumors so we can maintain our focus on the criminal investigation.

Lieutenant Johnny Greenwood

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office

It is bad enough that the Croslin’s, Cummings, and Sheffield clans are throwing each other under the bus, it now seems that journalists are joining them. Boy it must be getting busy under that bus!It was also reported that Misty Croslin and her brother Tommy Croslin shared a ride, a 40 minute opportunity to say hi, and catch up on old times. This is rubbish. Grade A rubbish! My sources are saying that Tommy was taken to the site on different days. At no time did they share a ride.

What is happening on HLN is a re-enactment of Irving Wallace’s very fine 1982 novel The Almighty. We are having news manufactured. Ratings are everything! Why bother with the facts when fiction is available? Did the search team find a Blue Ice Chest that contained Haleigh Cummings bones? No, the ice chest belonged to the cops. It was what they used as part of the evidence collection process.

Of course this minor issue escaped the quality control folks, so Art Harris and Nancy Grace run with it. This is BOMBSHELL, no it is not. I know in my heart that Nancy Grace is well meaning, but, I think it is likely time that she takes a long hard look at her sources.

Simon Barrett

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