Missing girl's investigation stepped up

Lindsey Baum: Reward now $25,000

April 30, 2010 

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)

MCCLEARY - As the first anniversary of Lindsey Baum's disappearance approaches, the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office is stepping up its investigative efforts, Undersheriff Rick Scott announced during a news conference at the McCleary City Hall on Thursday.

Lindsey was 10 years old when she disappeared on June 26. She has not been found, and investigators think she is the victim of foul play.

At every turn, police have been stymied by a lack of evidence or clues, despite numerous massive searches of the area in and around McCleary.

“We’re going to be here as long as it takes,” Scott said during Thursday’s news conference. “We’re still as tenacious in our investigation as we were from day one.”

The refocused efforts will start Monday, Scott said, and will include re-interviewing people who live in the area of Maple Street, where Lindsey disappeared, and researching areas in and around McCleary in an effort to find her.

Scott said the point of the intensive investigation in McCleary is to get a sharper snapshot of exactly what was going on around town when Lindsey disappeared.

Lindsey was walking home from a friend’s on Maple Street shortly before 9:15 p.m. June 26 when she disappeared. The last time someone saw Lindsey on her approximately half-mile walk to her mom’s old home on Mommsen Road was at about 9:15 that evening, when a resident saw her walking on Maple Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, police have said.

On Thursday, Scott also announced that the FBI has added $5,000 to the reward money being offered for information that leads to Lindsey’s whereabouts, or the arrest and charges filed for the person or persons responsible for her disappearance.

The total reward money now being offered is $25,000.

Another new tool being used by investigators are five large trailer trucks posted with large photos of Lindsey, along with a phone number, 1-800-THE-LOST, that’s used by the Washington State Patrol’s Homeward Bound program in an effort to find missing children. The trucks were donated by Gordon Trucking Inc. of Pacific, Wash., said Luci Stewart, manager of WSP’s Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit.

Stewart explained that the trucks will be placed at strategic locations where motorists on local roads can see them. They also can be placed anywhere in the country where the investigation into Lindsey’s disappearance is being conducted, in an effort to get more tips.

Lindsey’s mother, Melissa Baum, also was present during Thursday’s news conference. She pleaded with McCleary residents to cooperate with the coming investigative effort, and to rack their brains for anything that might help them find Lindsey.

“Somebody out there knows something,” Melissa Baum said.

Melissa Baum said that she and her supporters are planning a community event in Olympia’s Heritage Park, tentatively scheduled for June 26, the first anniversary of Lindsey’s disappearance.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465;

jpawloski@theolympian.com

Anyone with information about Lindsey Baum’s disappearance can call in tips at 1-866-915-8299, e-mail tips to soadmin@co. grays-harbor. wa.us, or send tips to Post Office Box 305, McCleary WA, 98557.

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