As the days pass and searchers in McCleary find no sign of missing 10-year-old Lindsey Baum, investigators have to consider it likely that the child was taken from the street against her will, Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott said Wednesday.
Lindsey disappeared Friday night after leaving a friend’s house to walk alone about a half-mile to her home on Mommsen Road.
The last person to see Lindsey was a resident driving though McCleary who saw her walking on Maple Street between Fifth and Sixth streets about 9:15 p.m. She was about halfway home, near the center of town.
For five days, a massive search undertaken by law enforcement has yielded no clues about what might have happened to Lindsey, Scott said.
Scott said it is unlikely that Lindsey would have been able to run away from home and remain hidden, given the media attention generated by her disappearance.
If someone is responsible for Linsdey’s disappearance, he or she might be exhibiting odd behavior or showing warning signs, Scott said. People should be on the lookout for these signs among friends, co-workers and even loved ones, he said.
Scott suggested that one or more of the following warning signs might raise a red flag and should result in a call to police:
• Someone suddenly changing his or her physical appearance, such as cutting or dyeing hair or shaving a mustache or beard.
• Someone suddenly getting rid of a car.
• An unexplained or out-of-character absence from work.
• Unexplained cuts or bruises to the face or arms.
• Someone picking up or resuming bad habits such as smoking or drinking, or changes in mood, such as being depressed or irritable for no apparent reason.
Wednesday’s search for Lindsey focused on areas 3 to 4 miles outside McCleary and included about 20 people and search dogs, Scott said. The search included logging roads and private roads that were accessible when Lindsey went missing, he said.
The landfill in McCleary also was searched for clues Wednesday.
“We’ve pretty much searched the city of McCleary and the immediate area surrounding that,” Scott said.
No planes or helicopters were used in Wednesday’s search, but there might be another air search later, he added.
Anyone with information about Lindsey’s disappearance is asked to call the Grays Harbor County 9-1-1 center at 360-533-8765 or 866-915-8299.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465