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Cousins questioned in Haleigh search

By the CNN Wire Staff
Haleigh Cummings was 5 when she vanished near Satsuma, Florida, in February 2009.
Haleigh Cummings was 5 when she vanished near Satsuma, Florida, in February 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Search for girl includes waterway and woods near Satsuma, Florida
  • Investigators say tip prompted renewed search
  • Haleigh Cummings, 5, vanished in February 2009 while her father was at work
  • Misty Croslin was watching Haleigh; she has been questioned repeatedly

(CNN) -- Acting on a lead, authorities were searching an area near Satsuma, Florida, for a second day Wednesday as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings.

"The Putnam County Sheriff's Office has started the second day of a search in the waterway and woods in the Satsuma area," sheriff's spokesman Lt. Johnny Greenwood said in a statement.

"This area is being searched as the result of one of the many leads received thus far in this case. It can be reported that as the result of yesterday's search, the status of this investigation has not changed."

The sheriff's office denied Wednesday afternoon that it has anyone in custody in connection with the investigation.

Deputies from four counties and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement began searching the St. Johns River south of Satsuma on Tuesday morning, CNN affiliate WJXT-TV in Jacksonville reported. The search lasted until about 8 p.m. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials told the station nothing was found.

In addition, Sheriff Jeff Hardy told WJXT that he met with Haleigh's family earlier Tuesday but would not divulge what was discussed.

"We're going to continue this investigation until we can bring it to a logical conclusion," he said

Authorities said the purpose of the meeting was to update relatives on the status of the investigation and inform them of the search.

Video: Cuffed Misty at Haleigh search site
Video: Police search river for Haleigh's body
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"Sheriff Hardy would like Haleigh Cummings' family, the citizens of Putnam County and the media to know, if and when any factual information is obtained in this case that will either explain what happened to Haleigh Cummings or identify who is responsible for her disappearance, he will make a formal release to the public," Greenwood said Wednesday.

Haleigh was 5 when she disappeared February 9, 2009, from the Satsuma mobile home where she lived with her father, Ronald Cummings, and his girlfriend at the time, Misty Croslin. Croslin later married Cummings, but the couple has since split.

Cummings called police and reported Haleigh missing when he returned from work at dawn.

Croslin told police she tucked Haleigh and her 4-year-old brother into bed about 8 p.m. and went to sleep two hours later. She said she awoke at 3 a.m. to find Haleigh missing and a cinder block propping open a back door.

An attorney representing Joe Overstreet, Croslin's cousin, said Florida officials questioned his client Tuesday.

Overstreet is from Nashville, Tennessee, but was in the Satsuma area when Haleigh disappeared, said attorney Shawn Sigo. Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents flew into Nashville on Tuesday to question him, Sigo said.

Overstreet maintains he had nothing to do with Haleigh's disappearance, Sigo said, adding that he is "broken over this" and "knows he is being used by people whose story keeps changing."

Putnam County authorities said in August that "the evidence and investigatory effort has minimized the likelihood that Haleigh's disappearance is the work of a stranger." Police have said Cummings and Crystal Sheffield, the girl's mother, are not considered suspects.

Jail records show that Croslin was removed from the St. Johns County Jail, where she is being held on suspicion of drug trafficking, for a short time Tuesday, WJXT said. The sheriff told the station she was brought to Putnam County for an interview.

Investigators have said they believe Croslin "continues to hold important answers in the case" but has not provided "any sort of detailed accounting of the hours during the late evening and early morning of Haleigh's disappearance." Authorities have said physical evidence contradicts Croslin's account of the events that night.

However, police have stopped short of naming Croslin a suspect in the case. In televised interviews, Croslin has said she does not know what happened to Haleigh but believes "the other side of the family" knows where she is.

Croslin and Cummings were both arrested in January along with three others after allegedly selling about $3,900 worth of drugs to undercover officers, authorities said.

After their arrests, Greenwood said, "Even though these are totally separate, they are parallel cases, and there's no doubt in my mind these cases will cross someday. I hope that somewhere through this, the investigators in the Haleigh case will find the information they need."

CNN's Jean Casarez contributed to this report.