A $40,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever kidnapped and murdered a 10-year-old Washington state girl, KOMO-TV reports. Thirteen years ago on this date – June 26, 2009 – Lindsey Baum vanished without a trace from her small town in McCleary. Investigators believe she was abducted while walking home after visiting a friend’s house just a few blocks away. Hunters in 2017 found a piece of Lindsey’s skull in a deeply wooded area, but the rest of her body has yet to be located, according to KCPQ-TV. Now the girl’s mother, Melissa Baum, carries her daughter’s only known remains as ashes secured inside a pendant necklace. “I want to know where the rest of my daughter is, priority number one,” Melissa Baum told KOMO-TV. “All I got back of her was a piece of her skull, and this is it, right here. This is my daughter.” Baum said she can’t stand to look at photographs of the girl anymore because it is too painful. “I rarely stop and look directly at them because that’s still hard,” Baum told the television station as she cried. “It’s looking at her face that gets me.”
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Investigators have identified several persons of interest, including a man who was recently convicted of raping a teen in the town six years before Lindsey went missing. Police also have assigned new investigators to the case and are working with state and federal law enforcement. “We don’t know what happened to her, but we know she ended up deceased. Anybody who would do that to a 10-year-old girl is beyond what you and I can comprehend. It’s not normal,” investigator Darrin Wallace told KOMO-TV. Wallace said he believes the case can be cracked. “I do think it’s solvable, absolutely,” Wallace told KOMO-TV. “My gut, it’s just someone knows something. And someone feeling comfortable enough to say, ‘this is what I know.’” Baum said she finds meaning in working to find justice for her daughter and will not relent until those responsible are held accountable. “My daughter deserves to rest in peace,” Baum told the television station. “She was a beautiful, bright 10-year-old little girl. She was a 10-year-old little girl. There was no reason for anybody to take her other than sick, vile things.” She added: “If I don’t do it, who’s going to get justice for Lindsey? Who’s going to make sure her ten years on this earth count for something? I’m literally the only one she has.” To report information about the case, call 360-964-1799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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[Feature Photo: Handout/ Lindsey Baum]