Sheriff: Lindsey Baum’s body found in Eastern Washington
Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott announced Thursday that the remains of Lindsey Baum were found in Eastern Washington. Lindsey went missing from the small town of McCleary in 2009 when she was 10-years-old.
“We’ve brought Lindsey home,” Scott said. “We’ve recovered her. Sadly, she was not recovered as we and her family had hoped and prayed this last nine years.”
Sheriff Scott provided very little details about the ongoing case, other than say the case has now evolved into a kidnapping and homicide investigation and they continue to search for the “monster who is responsible for this.”
The body was discovered by hunters in a remote area in September 2017. The remains were soon determined to be human and sent to an FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. But because the remains were not being investigated in relation to a crime, at that point, they were not tested for DNA until recently. DNA matched that of Lindsey and the sheriff’s office was notified this past week.
Scott would not comment if there are persons of interest or how close detectives are to making any arrests. He did say detectives now have a crime scene to investigate, but would not say where exactly the remains were found in Eastern Washington.
“At this point, because of the location and working with the local jurisdiction, we really need to keep the area under wraps so we can adequately search it,” Scott said. “…It is a remote area that is primarily visited by hunters during the appropriate season, but it’s not an area that has any population base of any sort.”
“This is a major, major development in this case and we hope it creates the information we need to make an arrest,” he said.
Sheriff Scott says he has already called Lindsey’s family with the news.
“I was sad that it was ending like this, but I was glad that we were able to bring some element of closure to what had happened to her,” Scott said. “(The family) was understandably devastated. They had prayed we would find her alive and bring her home. That was not the outcome the family wanted to hear.”
Sheriff Scott said that he is still asking for help from the public for any leads about Lindsey’s disappearance.
“There’s someone out there who knows who did this and how this happened … there are people out there that have the nugget of information we need to explode this investigation and culminate in an arrest,” Scott said. “We need those people to have the courage to come forward and share that information – anonymously, through a text message, however they wish to convey that. That’s why we’ve got an email dedicated to this, a tip line dedicated to this.”
Original Lindsey Baum update from KIRO 7
Baum was 10 years old when she disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in McCleary on June 26, 2009. Her disappearance sparked a nationwide investigation.
Sheriff Rick Scott told KIRO 7 Thursday there is a “significant development in the investigation” but declined to say more until a 1:30 p.m. news conference.
Age-progressed photo released in 2013
On June 26, 2013, four years to the day when Baum disappeared, an age-progressed photo done by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was released showing what Baum would look like at age 13. Baum’s mother, Melissa Baum, helped by contributing photos of herself and Lindsey’s father when they were roughly the same age.
Baum would now be 19.
In February 2014, the age-progressed photo was added to Gordon Trucking trailers as part of the Washington State Patrol’s Homeward Bound Program.
At that time, posters of Baum at age 10 had been traveling around the country on 10 Gordon Trucking trailers since 2010.
Police investigate connection to brothers in child porn investigation
Last summer, the sheriff’s office said it was investigating whether three Seattle brothers who police say collected child pornography for decades had any connection to the southwest Washington girl’s disappearance.
Detectives discovered a staggering amount of child pornography along with children’s worn clothing, underwear, small shoes, toys and movies in their home near Green Lake. Investigators believe each of the men, Charles, Thomas and Edwin Emery, all in their 80s, spent the majority of their lives sexually abusing children.
But it was an unearthed “manifesto” about Satanic rituals, kidnapping, raping and killing girls that led detectives to dig under sheds searching for evidence of potential murder, detectives said. Charles’ writings were found buried and partially burned — along with a child’s hat.
The search extended to Shelton, about 30 minutes from McCleary, where the brothers also owned a property. The Emerys’ now-deceased brother, Donald, remained in the Shelton home until 2016.
Shelton property owned by brothers searched last year
Sheriff Rick Scott confirmed to KIRO 7 News that a flier about Baum was found in the Shelton home. The property was searched with cadaver dogs and help from the Department of Homeland Security.
“When we heard of the link to the Shelton property, and its proximity to McCleary, and the nature of the paper work they found at the [Seattle home] … We immediately began to see if there’s anything that would link to our investigation,” Scott told KIRO 7 News last August.
So far, no known connection between the brothers and the disappearance of Baum has been found.
There is a $35,000 reward to find Baum.
KIRO 7 contributed to this report.