FBI ramping up search for missing McCleary girl
By Keith Eldridge & KOMO Staff
McCLEARY, Wash. -- Officials have announced a larger reward for information in the disappearance of a young girl missing since last summer, and investigators are planning a renewed search effort.
Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott on Wednesday said a reward of $20,000 is available for anyone who helps find Lindsey Baum, who vanished June 26 after leaving a friend's house to walk home.
"I want to reinforce to the community that we're not going anywhere," Scott said. "This case is a long ways from being at a dead end. We have continued to make this case a priority."
The new money, which ups the reward from the previous offer of $10,000, is being provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scott said.
Lindsey was 10 years old when she vanished; now she'd be 11, and her family is holding out hope that someone will come forward with information.
"Our world is standing still," said Lindsey's mom, Melissa Baum. "It's hard to stand here and watch the entire world keep going on when we're just frozen in time waiting for her to come home.
"If there's anybody who knows anything, even if you suspect something, if you would just please call law enforcement."
Investigators have received hundreds of tips, but no substantial leads. Volunteer searches have turned up nothing but frustration.
Over the last six months, Lindsey's mother and the police chief appeared on a national TV programs to urge anyone with information to call investigators, and Lindsey was even featured on the cover of People Magazine.
FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Twersky said a new group of investigators has been looking at the case to provide an outside review and offer suggestions on how to re-start the search for Lindsey.
"Because Lindsey's missing, we felt it was right to take a 'fresh eyes' approach and simply look at what's been done," Twersky said.
"The work has been extensive, but we just need that break. We know that break is out there, and so that's what this review and this effort is all about."
Twersky said agents will be going over old ground, searching many of the areas they looked at before and talking with many of the people who have already been interviewed.
The FBI will also be employing several new tactics, Twersky said, but he would not detail what those efforts would entail.
Lindsey's mom, meanwhile, is not giving up.
"Lindsey if you can hear me, I love you and I'm not going to stop looking for you, I swear," she said. "I will bring you home."
Anyone with information is asked to call 866-915-8299