SATSUMA - Five-year-old Haleigh Cummings is afraid of the dark and would not have wandered off into the night, her family told the Orlando Sentinel today as investigators stepped up a massive search for the Putnam County girl.
The girl's disappearance was classified as an abduction today.
Haleigh, who is nicknamed Doodlebug, lives with her father and his girlfriend in this rural county about 80 miles north of Orlando. Her father, Ronald Cummings, 25, put Haleigh to bed about 10 p.m. Monday before he left for work. His 17-year-old girlfriend, Misty Croslin, noticed Haleigh was missing about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"Haleigh is a very indoor-type child," Haleigh's maternal grandmother, Marie Griffis, said today. "If she goes outside, she wants you to be with her -- she would never go outside by herself in the dark."
Griffis said Haleigh is bright and loves drawing, makeup and playing with gadgets. She said that if someone has abducted Haleigh, she hopes the person will release the girl.
"Just bring her back," Griffis said. "There are plenty of places you can drop off a kid, no questions asked."
Detective John Merchant of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said that a screen door on the side of the couple's Satsuma home had been propped open with a block, but authorities found no obvious signs of forced entry.
"I just woke up and my back door is open, and I can't find my daughter," Croslin told a 911 dispatcher. She told the dispatcher she had been sleeping and the door was not open when she went to sleep.
Merchant said 44 sex offenders live in a 5-mile radius of Cummings' home, but all have been contacted by law enforcement since Haleigh disappeared.
"Right now, we don't have a lot of clues indicating where she's at," Merchant said. "I'm always positive, though -- we want to find her alive."
In addition to Putnam County deputies, officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Volusia, Marion and Flagler Sheriff's Offices are searching for Haleigh.
Search dogs are combing through woods in the area, and divers are searching the nearby St. Johns River.
Officials said Haleigh's mother, Crystal Sheffield, 23, was in Baker County near the Florida-Georgia state line at the time of her daughter's disappearance. Sheffield was talking with investigators today in Putnam County.
In the 911 call originally placed by Croslin, Haleigh's father told officials he needed their help immediately.
"I just got home from work, and my 5-year-old daughter is gone," he said, seeming to become more agitated as the call progressed. "I need somebody to be here now, I'm telling you.
"If I find whoever has my daughter before you do, I'm killing them," he said. "I don't care if I have to spend the rest of my life in prison."
He apparently hung up on the dispatcher, who then called back, trying to get additional information from Croslin, while constantly assuring her that deputies were on the way.
Joshua Duckett, father of missing Lake County toddler Trenton Duckett, said he was acting as a family spokesman and would try to find additional photos of Haleigh to help with the search.
Meanwhile, a volunteer group from Houston that helped look for Caylee Marie Anthony in Orlando last year said it is gearing up to help in the search for Haleigh. Caylee's remains were found in December, and her public memorial was Tuesday.
Tim Miller, the founder of Texas EquuSearch, said his organization has been in contact with Putnam County officials. Some volunteers may drive and others may fly to Florida today or tomorrow, he said.
"It's pretty ironic. We have another child disappear seven hours before Caylee's memorial," he said.
Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla is joining the ranks headed for Putnam County. He and his crew -- including bounty hunter Rob Dick -- plan to drive 80 miles north where the command center has been set up to search for the missing girl.
Padilla said he's going to see what's happening up there and will help if needed.