Putnam County

‘He just wants to find his daughter:’ Haleigh Cummings’ dad out of prison, family ‘excited’ for him

SATSUMA, Fla. — The father of Haleigh Cummings was released from prison Wednesday, as his daughter’s disappearance still remains a mystery after 13 years.

Ronald Cummings spent the last 12 years behind bars on drug charges.

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Action News Jax spoke with Haleigh’s great-grandmother, Annette Sykes, Wednesday.

“He just wants to find his daughter -- that’s all,” Sykes said. “He’s tickled to be out. We’re excited that he’s out. Thank God that he is out, and I thank God that I’m alive to see it.”

Read: ‘We do not forget:’ 13 years since Haleigh Cummings’ disappearance in Putnam County

Sykes said Ronald should have never been in prison in the first place.

“I can’t make any sense of it myself,” Sykes said.

2020 STORY: Haleigh Cummings disappearance: Great-grandmother dying of stage 4 cancer, pleads for clues to find Haleigh

To anyone with information about Haleigh’s disappearance who refuses to come forward, here’s what Sykes had to say:

“All I can ask them is please look into their hearts to know how much they have hurt his family and destroyed it. There’s no way to say how much pain that our family has gone through because of this.”

On Wednesday, members of the Satsuma community shared what they remember about the case.

2019 STORY: Haleigh Cummings disappearance: Detectives revisit case on 10-year anniversary

“We played bingo, and the bingo hall raised money for my daughters,” said longtime resident Diane Sutton. “They took food around there, fed the sheriff’s office and everything, all the media and took food for the animals.”

Sutton said anyone responsible for Haleigh’s disappearance needs to speak up.

“Please just come forward for the grandmother and the family, so they can be at peace,” Sutton said.

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Haleigh’s babysitter Misty Croslin, who was 17 at the time, was the last person to see her, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said. Croslin reported Haleigh missing, launching a manhunt for the little girl.

Croslin and Ronald Cummings, who Croslin was married to for a brief period of time, have never been charged in Haleigh’s disappearance. However, they have both been serving prison sentences for drug trafficking since 2010.

Croslin is expected to be released on Sept. 5, 2031.

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Sykes shared what she misses the most about Haleigh.

“That beautiful smile and that cute little giggle that she had,” Sykes said. “She was the most adorable little child. I mean she always had a smile on her face. I wonder now -- is she still that way? Does she still smile all the time? Or is she different now? How much has her personality changed?”

Anyone who has any information that could help find Haleigh is asked to call 911 or the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 1-888-277-8477 or at 386 329-0800.

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