Aside from their eerily similar first names, there are compelling parallels among the missing-child cases of Jaycee Dugard, Caylee Anthony, and Haleigh Cummings. Each time, investigators have focused on the child's parents. And each time, they've had wildly different results.
Jaycee Dugard's stepfather came under police scrutiny when the 11-year-old went missing 18 years ago. Carl Probyn took lie detector tests and was repeatedly questioned about seeing Jaycee get whisked away in a car driven by two strangers. But then last week, Jaycee was found alive after being held captive for 18 years by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, who is accused of kidnapping and raping her.
Meanwhile, Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, has been charged with first-degree murder. Her 2-year-old daughter's remains were found in the woods last December near the family's Orange County home.
Finally, the 17-year-old woman who was babysitting Haleigh the night she disappeared from her trailer home in Satsuma is being targeted by Putnam County sheriff's officials, who say she continues to "hold important answers in the case."
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Misty Croslin-Cummings was Haleigh's dad's girlfriend when Haleigh disappeared in February. She and Ronald Cummings have since married. And in a recent news release, Lt. Johnny Greenwood of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office wrote that Croslin-Cummings:
"has failed to provide any sort of detailed accounting of the hours during the late evening and early morning of Haleigh's disappearance. Furthermore, physical evidence at the scene contradicts Misty's sketchy account of her evening activities."
Focusing on the role of the parents in these cases is a wise and not-surprising strategy. But it will be interesting to see if any of the other cases turn out like Jaycee's, with a stranger suspect that no one... suspected.