In a new prison interview with First Coast News, Misty Croslin denied any involvement in Haleigh Cummings’ disappearance and, despite being called “key” to the investigation by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, she insisted that she has never changed her story about what happened the night the 5-year-old went missing.
“I’ve always said the same thing,” Croslin, 19, said in the 20-minute interview posted on the station’s website last week. “I never said anything different…People don’t understand that it kills me every day to know that I was asleep, I woke up and she was gone.”
She criticized investigators for focusing so much on her and not following up on possible new leads and sightings. She also claimed that if she knew anything, she would have told them by now, especially with the 25-year prison sentence she’s currently serving for drug trafficking.
Croslin disputed some of the rumors and theories that have spread about what happened in the home where she was sleeping with Haleigh and her brother on the night of February 9, 2009. She said any stories about her cousin Joe coming to her house are untrue because she did not trust him and she would not have brought him there. She also denied going out that night and leaving the children home alone. According to her, she woke up around 3 am on February 10 and Haleigh was simply gone.
In the interview, Croslin discussed her relationship with Ron Cummings, Haleigh’s father, who she married soon after the disappearance and has since divorced. “All he did was use me,” she said, calling the marriage “odd” but saying they did it because Ron thought he was going to go to jail for being in a relationship with a minor. Croslin was only 16 when they started dating.
Croslin said the case has been difficult for her whole family, with several of her relatives jailed on unrelated charges or losing jobs, her 5-year-old niece afraid to go outside and her nephew being harassed by other kids at school. She is staying strong, though, because “I have faith that she’s going to come home.”
“I feel like it’s my fault, but in reality it’s not my fault,” Croslin said of Haleigh disappearing while in her care. Still, she admitted, “I feel like I let her down.”