Police in Washington State found the remains last week of Lindsey Baum, a girl who vanished in 2009, never to be seen alive again.
“We’ve brought Lindsey home. We’ve recovered her,” Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott said at a press conference Thursday. “Sadly, she was not recovered as we and her family had hoped and prayed these last nine years.”
Baum disappeared when she was 10, and would have turned 20 last July.
She was last seen walking to a friend’s house in McCleary on June 26, 2009, to ask if she could spent the night. Her disappearance received national attention, with her photograph appearing on the cover of People magazine.
“I think somebody took her,” her mother, Melissa Baum, told ABC news in 2009 hours after Lindsey’s disappearance. “I’m trying to constantly push away the bad thoughts.”
Lindsey Baum’s remains were found by hunters in a remote area of eastern Washington in September 2017, in a place “heavily timbered with large cliffs and deep ravines,” police said in statement. Because there was no active criminal investigation associated with the remains, they were not identified by the FBI until last week, Scott said.
The inquiry into Baum’s disappearance now becomes a “kidnapping and homicide” investigation, Scott said, adding that law enforcement would not rest “until we bring the monster that’s responsible for this, and hold them accountable.”
The area where the girl’s remains were found would now be searched “forensically,” Scott said, in the hopes of “finding additional evidence that will, in a perfect world, point towards a suspect.”
Three brothers who were charged last year with possessing child pornography were once thought to be tied to the case. Investigators said Charles, Thomas and Edwin Emery had been living in a house stuffed “floor to ceiling with child exploitative images, children’s clothing articles, toys and movies,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, quoting charging documents filed by prosecutors in the case. Also found were handwritten notes detailing the ritualistic rape and murder of young girls.
A search through the property of a fourth Emery brother who recently died raised suspicion that the brothers may have been involved in Baum's disappearance, according to the Post-Intelligencer.
The three brothers, who remain jailed, have not been charged or named by police in the Baum case.
Scott did not discuss the Emery brothers at the press conference announcing that Baum had been found.
“There’s someone out there that knows who did this and how this happened," he said.
He added that there are people who "have information that would be the nugget that we need to explode this investigation and culminate in an arrest. We need those people to have the courage to come forward and share that information."
[Photo: Gray's Harbor Sheriff's Department]