Caleigh Harrison's mother speaks out for first time
ROCKPORT, Mass. (WHDH) -- Police returned to Long Beach in Rockport where 2-year-old Caleigh Harrison went missing after receiving a new lead on Thursday, but found nothing.
Caleigh went missing two weeks ago. Caleigh’s mother told investigators she went missing when she turned away from Caleigh and her 4-year-old sister for a couple of minutes to retrieve a ball, and Caleigh was gone when she returned.
“I got the kids situated. They were playing in the sand by the rocks and I could see them the whole way when I was walking over to the stairway,” said Allison Hammond, Caleigh’s mother.
Caleigh's mother spoke out for the first time on national television Thursday evening.
"We walked the length of the beach, the kids were playing in the water, running behind, running in front. They all had seaweed. We got to the end of the whole beach and the dog got over the bridge -- over the creek with the tennis ball. So when I got to the tennis ball, I threw it back, and I threw it terribly," said Hammond.
Caleigh’s uncle said Caleigh’s grandfather was at the beach on Thursday when he noticed there was a random dog that was going crazy in one area, so he called police. Investigators returned to the beach to follow up on the tip.
It does not appear that investigators came up with any new information in Thursday’s search, but they are expected to return to the beach on Friday.
The new search came the day after Caleigh’s father, Anthony Harrison, and uncle spoke publicly about the possibility that her daughter was the victim of a crime.
Caleigh’s uncle said Caleigh’s 4-year-old sister, who was at the beach with her two weeks ago, started remembering things and told them that she had seen a big man with dark shorts that day and that is the man who took her sister.
"She said there was a guy on the beach and he had black shorts on, and he was smoking a cigarette. That's what she said. And she said it more than once. That's why we're thinking maybe she's -- maybe there's some truth to it. She said that he grabbed Caleigh," said her uncle.
"I looked down, and she had her arm out-stretched and she said, 'Caleigh's gone,' She didn't say anything more than that," Hammond said.
On Wednesday night during an interview Harrison said, “They interviewed her with a state psychologist and they came back and said she didn’t know anything and then after a few days she started talking about it. And of course, she’s 4 years old, it’s kind of hard to take a 4 year old’s word for it.”
Police say they have not ruled out that Caleigh was kidnapped, but the said there is no evidence that supports she was.
David Procopio, of the Massachusetts state police, released a statement Thursday saying, in part: “We thoroughly investigated the possibility that Caleigh was abducted. As we previously stated, we found no evidence to support the abduction theory. That does not mean that we can say with 100 percent certainty that foul play did not occur, but rather, only that we have found no evidence of it, including no evidence of a mysterious man on the beach. That said, we will of course continue to follow leads as they develop.”
Officials are expected to return to the beach on Friday afternoon at low tide to continue searching.
Officials ask anyone with the tiniest shred of information to contact the Rockport police department at (978) 546-1212.
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