Warrant details suspicions

kidnapping Case: Police find no evidence of wrongdoing despite local man’s strange behavior

October 5, 2009 

Missing Juvenile - Lindsey Baum

Lindsey was last seen at about 9:15 pm Friday night, June 26, 2009, leaving her friend's home after she visited on Maple Street. (Courtesy of McCleary Police Department)

Aberdeen - A newly released search warrant in the case of missing 11-year-old Lindsey Baum outlines suspicious activity and inconsistent statements that led investigators to a home outside McCleary last weekend.

The warrant includes statements from friends and family members regarding a man at the residence in connection with strange phone activity, disturbing conversations involving Lindsey, conflicting alibis and a past accusation of sexual assault.

In the court filing, investigators said they thought Lindsey had been kidnapped, and after receiving what they have referred to as a credible tip, they thought they would find evidence of her kidnapping at the home.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office since has announced it could not find any evidence of wrongdoing. Some forensic samples taken at the home and a neighboring property Sept. 25 along Foreman Road still await testing. Results could take months.

Lindsey, then 10 years old, went missing June 26 while walking a short distance from her friend’s house in McCleary along a house-lined street at dusk. Despite two confirmed sightings of her within blocks of her house, she never made it home, and investigators have not been able to explain her disappearance.

The search warrant, released Friday, lists dozens of items investigators were looking for as potential evidence, including clothing matching Lindsey’s, weapons and cars on the property.

Attempts to contact the man and family members Friday via e-mail were not returned.

In news reports after the search warrants were executed, the owner of the property said he has contacted a lawyer about suing the police and the media, saying they had no right to put the family through the search.

Much of the warrant lists suspicious reports focusing on a man at the home, who is not being named because he has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

Investigators say he fixated on Lindsey’s disappearance in the days after she went missing and made disturbing comments about thinking the girl had been murdered when most authorities still thought her to be lost.

“(The man) told (a friend) he could not believe that a girl had been taken and cut up and dismembered,” the warrant stated. “It should be noted that the media and investigators did not believe that Baum was the victim of a crime until the week following her disappearance.”

A friend also reported the man became “agitated” when investigators questioned him about the case, the warrant stated. He “obsessed” about Lindsey and the possibility she had been kidnapped, the court papers said.

A car similar to the man’s vehicle reportedly was seen shortly before Lindsey’s disappearance near the intersection on Maple Street where she last was spotted, according to the warrant. The man also worked part time at a business nearby, one that Baum had been in often.

When contacted by investigators, the man reported he had been at a second job in Olympia on the night of the disappearance, according to the warrant. The man’s supervisor at that job told investigators the man was suspended during that time and could not have been working.

When confronted with the inconsistency, the man provided a second alibi that investigators could not verify.

The warrant also outlines suspicious phone activity that stops suddenly at about the time Lindsey disappeared.

Lindsey Baum

Lindsey Baum is 4-foot-9 with brown eyes and brown hair. She was wearing a blue shirt and jeans when she disappeared.

Anyone who might have any information about the whereabouts of Lindsey is asked to call 1-866-915-8299 or send e-mail to soadmin@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

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