Washington – Somewhere in the four blocks between her house and her friend’s house in rural Washington state, a 10-year-old girl disappeared and was never heard from again.
Hundreds of officers, volunteers and cadaver dogs repeatedly combed through the small town of fewer than 2,000 people in search of Lindsey Baum, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl who loved “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.” Thousands of dollars in reward money produced countless tips, but nothing led to the girl, who vanished in McCleary, Washington, on June 26, 2009 – less than two weeks before her 11th birthday.
“I just need my daughter home. Lindsey, please come home, you’re not in trouble,” Melissa Baum said, according to a 2009 article by the Daily World newspaper in Aberdeen, Washington.
Nearly 10 years later, the search for Lindsey ended. A new one – this time, for the person responsible for her death – began.
Last September, hunters found human remains in a remote part of eastern Washington. The remains were brought to an FBI lab in Virginia for DNA analysis. Several months later, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott, who has been involved in the investigation since 2009, announced that they were Lindsey’s remains.
“I’m here today to share with you that we’ve brought Lindsey home,” Scott said at a news conference Thursday. “Sadly, she was not recovered as we and her family had hoped and prayed these last nine years.”
Investigators believe the girl was kidnapped after she left her friend’s home that night, and was later killed.
“For the last nine years, we’ve not been able to say definitively what this was beyond it was a missing child,” Scott said. “Certainly, the prayers and hopes of the family is that we would someday find her alive and bring her home. Now, the reality is we need to find a homicide suspect.”
Scott declined to share the location where her remains were found, only saying that it’s seasonally visited by hunters. He also declined to answer questions about what led investigators to believe that she had been killed.
The sheriff’s office in Kittitas County, Washington, more than 100 miles from McCleary, said Saturday that the remains were found there, in a steep, heavily timbered area with large cliffs and deep ravines. Searchers combed the area over the weekend looking for evidence in connection to the girl’s death.
Lindsey was last seen about 9:15 p.m. on June 26, 2009, when she was supposed to walk the four blocks to her home. Her mother reported her missing later that night.
The girl’s family immediately dismissed notions that she might have ran away or was hiding.
“If she had been hiding, she would have come out by now,” Melissa Baum told the Daily World newspaper shortly after her daughter disappeared. “She can’t hide that long, she loves to talk.”
Lindsey was also afraid of the dark and wouldn’t have just wandered around; she was superstitious about it. To her, midnight to 1 a.m. was “witching hour,” her family told the Daily World.
Article Sourced from The Washington Post
Photo Credit- Washington Post/ Kittitas County Sheriff’s