12/19/2014

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5 years later, Lindsey Baum's disappearance still a mystery

5 years later, Lindsey Baum's disappearance still a mystery
Lindsey Baum
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McCLEARY, Wash. - It's been five years since Lindsey Baum disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in the small Grays Harbor County town of McCleary.

And though the search continues, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott says no definitive evidence has been uncovered yet to explain what happened to her.

Lindsey, who was 10 years old when she vanished, would be turning 16 on July 7.

KXRO reports Lindsey's mother, Melissa Baum, worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to create an aged photograph of what Lindsey may look like today.

Meanwhile, the Grays Harbor County sheriff's office, FBI and Washington State Patrol continue to search for Lindsey.

Repeated searches have found no sign of the girl.

Detectives have followed up on hundreds of leads and conducted dozens of interviews in the case, but no arrests have ever been made.

Lindsey was last seen at 9:15 p.m. on June 26, 2009, when she left her friend's home on Maple Street, where she had been visiting, officials said.

Lindsey was going to walk the four blocks to her home on Mommsen Road, which is roughly a 10-minute walk. But something happened in that short distance - Lindsey never arrived home.

Numerous searches took place in the hours and days after she vanished, and bloodhounds were brought in - but no sign of the missing girl was ever found.

Her case gained national attention as time went on, and was featured on the cover of People magazine.

About 2½ years ago, investigators identified a local jewelry store owner as a person of interest in Lindsey's disappearance. Police searched Tim Hartman's home and business in October 2011, and said they seized several pieces of evidence.

Hartman told police he wasn't in town during the hours that Baum disappeared, but convenience store surveillance camera footage showed him in McCleary at exactly the time of the disappearance.

But Hartman denied having anything to do with the disappearance, and says he honestly doesn't remember being in McCleary at the time when the girl vanished.

Meanwhile, her family has continued to push to keep attention focused on the case.

A $35,000 reward is available for information in the case.
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