Baum investigators seize items

Search: Storage unit, rental home scrutinized in hunt for information into disappearance of McCleary girl

July 14, 2010 

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    Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call the Grays Harbor County tip line at 1-866-915-8299 or send an e-mail to soadmin@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

McCLEARY - The Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office and an FBI team searched a home and a storage facility here Tuesday, seizing items belonging to a person of interest in the disappearance of Lindsey Baum, who was 10 when she vanished more than a year ago.

The storage facility is in the 900 block of West Simpson Avenue, while the home is in the 100 block of Fir Street, Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott said.

Scott said that as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, there were no indications that the items seized were of value to investigators. Investigators might find evidence that will clear the person of interest, Scott said.

The man is being investigated because of discrepancies in what he had told law enforcement officers during interviews and information later uncovered by investigators, Scott said. One of those discrepancies had to do with his criminal record, Scott said.

Scott said the man moved to McCleary a little more than a year ago. He lived at his current location on Fir Street at the time of Lindsey’s disappearance, Scott added.

The owner of the Fir Street home where the man lives “has nothing to do with this,” Scott said.

Lindsey vanished after leaving a friend’s home on Maple Street in McCleary shortly before 9:15 p.m. June 26, 2009. She apparently intended to walk about a half-mile across town to the Mommsen Road home she shared with her mother, Melissa, and her older brother, Josh. She never arrived.

The last confirmed sighting of Lindsey was by a resident driving through town who saw her walking on Maple Street between Fifth and Sixth streets shortly after 9:15 p.m.

Scott has said investigators think Lindsey was the victim of foul play.

There have been a handful of persons of interest in the case, but none has become a suspect. The Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation, with the assistance of the FBI’s Seattle office.

Over the summer, the investigation has ramped up in and around McCleary, with law officers recanvassing neighborhoods and re-searching areas in hopes of finding evidence that will lead to the girl’s whereabouts.

Tuesday’s search was apparent to residents because of the suits worn by members of the FBI evidence response team, Scott said. The suits are similar in appearance to hazardous-materials suits and are worn to prevent contamination of any potential evidence, he said.

Investigators seized a large number of items during Tuesday’s search, and it might take many laboratory hours to examine them and determine whether they are of significance, Scott added.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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